updated 6/12/2008 1:59:20 PM ET 2008-06-12T17:59:20

The number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines fell in March, the first year-over-year monthly decline since September 2006.

The Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said Thursday that U.S. airlines carried 66.9 million scheduled passengers in March, down 0.4 percent from March 2007. The number of domestic passengers fell 1.4 percent, while international passengers increased by 7 percent.

The number of scheduled passengers rose 1.5 percent in the first three months of the year to 181.1 million — 2.7 million more than a year earlier.

Southwest Airlines carried more total system and domestic passengers in the first three months of 2008 than any other U.S. airline. American Airlines carried the most international passengers.

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