Updated from 2:08 p.m. EDT

American Airlines' parent AMR ( AMR) reported a narrower third-quarter loss, and the world's largest carrier saw revenue trends improve amid higher demand.

Skyrocketing fuel costs kept the airline from repeating its second-quarter feat of logging a profit, and it missed Wall Street estimates by 3 cents.

The Fort Worth, Texas, company said Wednesday it lost $153 million, or 93 cents a share, in the latest quarter, an improvement over the year-ago loss of $214 million, or $1.33 a share.

Excluding special items, AMR lost $95 million, or 58 cents a share, vs. a year-ago adjusted loss of $232 million, or $1.44 a share. The adjusted figure for the latest quarter missed the average analyst estimate for a loss of 55 cents from Thomson First Call.

Shares of AMR fell 57 cents, or 4.8%, to $11.43.

Revenue was $5.48 billion, up 15.2% from $4.76 billion a year before and slightly higher than the $5.46 billion analyst consensus.

"Strong demand, combined with capacity restraint, enabled us to gain some traction on the revenue side of the ledger," said Gerard Arpey, AMR's CEO. "We saw our first significant yield increase in some time.

With passenger demand robust, AMR filled more of its seats, and its load factor on mainline flights, which exclude small, regional flights, rose 3.3 percentage points from a year ago to 81.2%.

Yield, which measures average fares, rose 8%. Both factors combined to lift revenue per available seat mile, a key industry metric also known as RASM, 12.6% from a year before.

"But there is still a disconnect between the price of fuel and the price of air travel," Arpey said. "Just to cover the increase in fuel costs over the past two years, American would have had to raise fares nearly $75 per roundtrip ticket. During this time period, our average fare increased by only $15."

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