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Things are looking up for the freshly consolidated U.S. airline industry, and even United, which still has its operational challenges, is expected to report a big improvement over the year-ago quarter.
In a business more used to gloom than exuberance, the U.S. airline industry is attracting a lot of enthusiasm as air carriers prepare this week to begin reporting fourth-quarter earnings.
Bolstered by a strong December, a number of airlines have seen industry analysts boost estimates of their fourth-quarter earnings.
“Cost convergence, fare unbundling, widespread consolidation, diminished new-entrant activity, and return-oriented management teams have combined to form an industry in the U.S. that is actually managing itself for the first time we can recall,” industry analyst Jamie Baker of JPMorgan stated in a Jan. 8 report.