Air Canada flew 0.4 percent fewer revenue passenger miles in September this year compared to the same period last year. Revenue passenger miles are defined as the number of available seats sold.

The Montreal-based airline released preliminary traffic figures on Thursday which reported a system load factor of 79.7 percent in September 2006. Load factor is the percentage of seats filled.

Overall capacity – or the number of seats available - increased by 0.5 per cent, compared to 80.4 percent in September 2005.

“Year-to-date traffic continues to outpace the increase in capacity resulting from the addition of 15 new small jets in the combined Air Canada and Jazz fleets during the year.

I am proud that Air Canada's employees achieved customer service objectives for the month and I thank them for their hard work,” said Montie Brewer, President and CEO.

Jazz, ACE Aviation Holdings Inc.'s (ACE.A.T), regional subsidiary, flew 45.5 percent more revenue passenger miles in September 2006 than in September 2005, while capacity increased by 40 percent, resulting in a load factor of 71.6 percent, compared to 69 percent a year earlier.