Europe's Discount Airlines Losing Altitude

Pricey fuel could doom budget flying. Air Berlin, easyJet, and others are running into big trouble

Last fall and winter was not a happy time for Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber. But it wasn't just the uncooperative weather and series of strikes that were making his life so miserable. Mayrhuber, a 61-year-old originally from Austria, faced heavy criticism for being too hesitant and overly risk-averse, all because he passed up opportunities to acquire charter airline Condor and Italian competitor Alitalia.

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