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Southwest Airlines sets record for January passenger loads as traffic jumps 7.1 percent

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By TERRY MAXON

Southwest Airlines Co. said Thursday it set a record for passenger loads in January, and its chief executive said that bookings are "very strong" in February and March.

Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said the airline's revenue per seat mile flown increased 14 percent to 15 percent last month from January 2009. Traffic increased 7.1 percent despite a 6.7 percent cut in capacity, he said.

"There's just no blip on the horizon – knock on wood – at least at this point," Kelly said at a New York investment conference.

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