U.S. airlines keep afloat by raising cash in credit crunch

U.S. airlines are raising cash during the credit squeeze to cover fuel-hedging contracts and rising costs. Delta borrowed $1 billion in cash from American Express Co., and will get another $1 billion over the next year. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines Co. plans to raise money by selling and leasing back planes next year for about $350 million. "Never underestimate the ability of airlines to raise money," said Bill Warlick, airline debt analyst at Fitch Ratings.

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