The Federal Aviation Administration's forecasting office sees "no rapid recovery" ahead for U.S. airlines, and now predicts enplanements will increase by 2.6% a year during the next two decades, down from an earlier forecast of 2.9% annual growth. Enplanements this year are expected to rise just 0.5%, the agency said, followed by stronger growth from 2011 to 2015. But not everyone at the FAA's Aviation Forecast Conference was so cautious. A top Barclay's official said he is "very optimistic" about the near-term recovery, predicting U.S. carriers will see "a classic up cycle with lots of profits."

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