11/29/2007

Years of hedging against higher oil prices has given Southwest Airlines a distinct advantage in the marketplace. The airline owns contracts to buy its jet fuel through 2009 at prices that reflect oil at $51 a barrel. Some carriers are boosting fares to offset higher fuel prices, but data collected by the Air Transport Association showed that on average (excluding taxes) domestic fares paid by travelers have risen just 0.3% through October.

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