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ValuJet filled 56 percent of seats in December

January 7, 1997

ATLANTA (AP) _ ValuJet Airlines said Tuesday it filled 56 percent of its seats in December, down from 62.8 percent during the same period last year.

The airline said it served 181,166 passengers last month, its third full month back in the air since being grounded for 15 weeks following the May 11 crash in the Florida Everglades that killed 110 people.

In December 1995, the airlines carried 512,617 passengers on 42 aircraft. Last month, the airline was only flying with 15 planes because the Federal Aviation Administration hadn’t approved additional service.

Clint McCutcheon, an industry consultant in McLean, Va., said ValuJet is doing ``about as good as could be expected.″

``It’s going to take a little bit of time to come back,″ he said.

In November, ValuJet flew 144,697 passengers and filled 48.2 percent of the seats available.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, the discount carrier flew 480,155 people and filled 57.3 percent of its seats. That compares with 1.5 million passengers, or 64.5 percent of its seats, for the same quarter in 1995.

``We are pleased that the fourth quarter closed with positive momentum,″ said President and Chief Executive Officer D. Joseph Corr.

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