Norwegian Air Shuttle traffic up 16 pct in July

OSLO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle NWC.OL said it carried 16 percent more passengers in July than a year earlier and its yield rose year on year.

Norwegian Air, a rival of Scandinavian airline SAS SAS.STSAS.COSASNOK.OL, said on Friday it carried 1,048,684 passengers in July, up from 900,983 a year earlier.

Total passenger traffic measured by the number of passengers and kilometres flown (RPK), rose by 10 percent.

“The increase in passenger traffic, production and passengers is related to the group’s expansion in established markets and to the introduction of new routes from August 2008 to July 2009, as well as adjustments in production capacity,” Norwegian said in a statement.

The yield -- the average revenue per passenger carried and kilometre flown -- was estimated at 0.59 Norwegian crowns in July, down from 0.64 crowns in June, but up from 0.57 crowns in July last year, it said.

The load factor, an indicator of seats sold as a percentage of capacity, rose in July by one percentage point from a year ago to 88 percent, the airline said.

It said the average flying distance fell by 4 percent in July compared to the same period last year.

Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa; editing by John Stonestreet