updated 5/10/2010 12:24:01 PM ET 2010-05-10T16:24:01

SkyWest Inc., which operates SkyWest and Atlantic Southeast airlines, said Monday that traffic in April rose 10.9 percent in another sign of recovering air-travel demand.

The company said paying passengers on the two airlines flew 1.53 billion miles last month, compared with 1.38 billion in April 2009.

Capacity measured in available seat miles, or the number of miles flown times seats, rose 8.5 percent to 1.92 billion.

With traffic growing faster than capacity, average occupancy increased 1.7 points to 79.5 percent from 77.8 percent a year earlier.

SkyWest Airlines is based in St. George and flies under the United Express and Delta Connection banners under contract with those airlines. It also operates flights for AirTran Airways.

Atlantic Southeast is based in Atlanta and operates Delta Connection and United Express flights.

Shares rose $1, or 7.6 percent, to $14.13 in midday trading.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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