Premium ticket sales are beginning to improve, leading many airline executives to predict a much-needed recovery in business travel next year. Speaking to an investors conference in New York, officials from Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways all noted an increase in ticket sales for their first- and business-class cabins. The return of lucrative corporate fliers raised hope for a broad-based turnaround at many carriers. "I don't want to give a specific date or guidance, but clearly it's going to be in 2010, and likely it's going to be in the front half of 2010," said Delta CFO Hank Halter.

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