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Berkshire as Airline Bull, Not Bear, Validates Industry’s Shift

  • Billionaire’s company buys shares after years of consolidation
  • American, Delta, United trying to leave boom-bust cycle behind
U.S. Airlines Posted $390m Profit in 2011
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
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U.S. airlines have had trouble this year convincing investors that they’re leaving their boom-and-bust cycle behind. Now the industry has won over one of its biggest skeptics.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s investment in the four biggest carriers ended years in which billionaire Chairman Warren Buffett derided the industry’s attractions. The company revealed stakes this week in American Airlines Group Inc.Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co., the remaining carriers after years of dealmaking that cut the number of major players by more than half.