Airlines Dive From a 16-Year High

U.S. air carriers are plunging from the highest level since 2001 as earnings disappointments and forecasts for weak unit revenue, a common gauge for pricing power, cloud the industry’s outlook. The five-member S&P 500 Airlines Index, which peaked on July 7, has fallen 8.5 percent since Delta Air Lines Inc. was the first to report second-quarter results a week later. Rising fuel and wage costs, as well as operational difficulties including pilot disputes and the roll-out of new reservation systems, have been weighing on industry profits.

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