Airlines for America recently reported 2012 results for 10 U.S. carriers, including combined profit of $152 million, which translates to "a scant 21 cents" for each passenger, Ted Reed writes. This compares with profits of $5.7 billion at Ford and $41.8 billion at Apple last year. A4A Chief Economist John Heimlich said, "We've had compressed margins in the face of rising fuel prices (and) in the past year, we were not done with residual bankruptcy costs, which will be put behind us, (and) some onetime integration costs from consolidation. (That) will lead to a structurally more healthy industry in the next few years." The airline industry also weathers one of the highest tax burdens, which A4A hopes to address with a national airline policy, Reed writes.

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