Southwest Airlines' September Metrics Are Generally Up

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.

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