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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Passenger rise boosts US airlines
Continental Airlines planes
Both Continental and Southwest have seen a rise in passengers
US carriers Continental Airlines and Southwest Airlines have both reported higher revenues thanks to increased passenger numbers and ticket prices.

Continental's third-quarter revenues rose 17% to $3.5bn (1.9bn), compared to $3bn a year earlier.

Revenues at Southwest for the same three months until the end of September increased by 18% to $2.3bn.

Yet while profits at Continental almost quadrupled, Southwest blamed a decline on higher security costs.

Sale boost

Continental Airlines made a third-quarter net profit of $237m, compared with $61m a year earlier, boosted by the sale of a stake in a South American carrier.

Excluding the sale of its share in Copa Airlines, Continental said its profit would have been $146m.

Excluding one-off charges and an accounting change, Southwest's net income fell to $154m from $210m for the same time last year.

It blamed the fall on increased security measures following the alleged plot to attack planes in the UK in the summer.

Passenger numbers at Continental were up 9.1%, while those at Southwest increased 4.5%.

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