AIRLINES: Blue-Sky Summer for Profits

In the boom-or-bust U.S. airline industry, profits have been about as permanent as a jet contrail in a wind-blown sky. Yet last week there was evidence that at least some form of profitability had returned to the nation's eleven major scheduled carriers; it is expected to stay intact through the busy summer tourist season and probably through the end of the year. One by one, the airlines reported sharply increased second-quarter earnings—or dramatically reduced losses—v. the savagely depressed similar period of a year ago, when the recession was cutting deeply into pleasure...

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