Business: Profits Down

First-quarter earnings for the airlines plummeted from 1943's high level. Net profits for United, American, Eastern, TWA—the big four that handle over 80% of all U.S. air traffic—were 38% lower; earnings for many of the smaller companies were down even further.

This meant that despite a phenomenal 90% passenger load, record air express cargoes, and higher gross incomes, the industry was barely hedgehopping over the financial woods. TWA crash-landed in the red, losing $92,420 ($357,352 profit last year). Pennsylvania-Central and Western Air Lines lost $77,682 and $17,565 respectively. American, its net...

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