Analysts see industry turnaround for 2009-2010

09/16/2008 | Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)

Airline efforts to ground planes, trim payrolls and refocus on profitable customers are beginning to pay off, increasing the likelihood that several big carriers could return to profitability next year, according to some analysts. UBS Securities cited a 23% drop in fuel prices as the main reason for expected improvement at American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, while an equities analyst at Standard & Poor's praised the industry's moves to raise prices and cut costs. "They're firing their worst customers," said S&P's Jim Corridore. "It's a brilliant move. They shouldn't be flying those people to begin with."

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