Aviation: Changes in the Air

Though more people are flying than ever before, the U.S. domestic airline industry is in a continuing and deepening financial crisis. A few of the smaller trunk lines without heavy competition on their routes make a nice profit, but some of the biggest lines are losing money flying half-empty jets across the country. The industry as a whole manages to eke out only a paltry 2% or so on invested capital. While the causes are many and complicated, most of the losses could be wiped out by one asset: more passengers. Last week, on several fronts, the airlines were...

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