Airline Profits: Take Off At Last

Until recently, profits in the airline industry had been about as rare as a decent in-flight meal. Then, in late July, a bunch of carriers, including the parent company of American Airlines Inc., announced that they had made money during the second quarter--some for the first time in two years. The good news took Wall Street by surprise and has started talk that the industry is reviving. And with fuel costs down, labor willing to exchange wage cuts for equity, and fares finally rising, the optimism seems warranted.

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