New Airlines Concept: Profit

You may find this extremely hard to believe, but according to this piece over at the Christian Science Monitor, some of the major airlines might actually be turning a profit this year? As Jon Stewart might say: Wha?! Yes, the piece here cites a number of factors including various fforged alliances, cutting back on flights, and skimping on freebies like peanuts and drinks. On a larger scale, they’ve cut back on benefits for unionized workers and added a few feet to their wingspan with fuel-conserving “winglets.” This has been enough, it seems, that the airlines have posted a collective profit of about $1.5 billion, pretax, for the months from April to June, according to the investment firm Merrill Lynch in New York.

Here are a few of the numbers: United Airlines, which a year ago was in bankruptcy proceedings, announced quarterly earnings of $119 million this week, following even larger gains at US Airways ($305 million), American ($291 million), and Continental ($198 million).

Exactly what “collectively” means and how long this can last is an open question, but I have to say it gives me a little dose of satisfaction to know that all the airlines aren’t going out of business. granted some of them have been ridiculously inefficient and their service has been lacking ,but I didn’t want them to die, you know? I mean, Jet Blue can’t be everywhere.

Anyway, it is a bit of good news for an embattled industry.