updated 5/10/2007 3:00:17 PM ET 2007-05-10T19:00:17

The number of passengers flying on U.S. airlines rose from year-ago levels for the fifth straight month in February, according to a government tally released Thursday.

The Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said U.S. airlines carried 53.7 million passengers in February, up 0.6 percent from the same month last year.

American Airlines carried about 7 million domestic and international passengers in February, the most of any airline. American carried 51,000 more passengers than the No. 2 U.S. carrier, Southwest Airlines Co.

Rounding out the top five were Delta Air Lines Inc., UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and Northwest Airlines Corp. Southwest remained the top domestic carrier, followed by America, Delta, United and Northwest.

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