In terms of most of its operational metrics, Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) didn't fly south last month. The company on Monday released key operating figures for September. Revenue passenger miles nudged up by 1.3% over September 2012's count to reach 7.86 billion. Available seat miles advanced to 10.2 billion, which was 1.2% higher than in the year-ago period.

Southwest's load factor (i.e., the average "occupancy" of its planes) saw a slight uptick, coming in at 77.1% compared to 77% in September 2012. The total number of revenue passengers, however, dropped by 2.5% on a year-over-year basis to land at 8.15 million.

In the near future, Southwest has a chance to boost those numbers. Last week, the company broke ground on a new international terminal at Houston's Hobby Airport. This will position it to better service popular Latin American routes.


Fool contributor Eric Volkman has no position in Southwest Airlines. The Motley Fool recommends Southwest Airlines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.