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Two of America’s largest airlines have reported a drop in domestic traffic in August.
American Airlines said its home market fell by 2.6% in August - the first drop in a year - while Delta Air Lines said its domestic market shrunk by 0.3% in the month compared with August 2010.
Both airlines said that capacity had been cut during the month, AA’s by 1.2% and Delta’s by 0.8%.
Domestic travel accounts for the bulk of travel by US carriers. In AA’s case, it is estimated to be about three quarters of its market.
Ed Bastian, Delta's president, blamed the fall on Hurricane Irene which hit the US East Coast in late August, caused the airline to cancel 2,200 flights and “reduced its net profit for August by $15m.”
But the two carriers reported that international traffic during the month increased.
AA said international traffic rose by 3% mostly because of “strong” trans-Pacific travel.
Delta said its international traffic rose year on year by 1.9% along with a 1.8% rise in capacity.