It's not just lower oil prices that are behind lower airfares consumers may see. Recent consolidation between airlines across the world is is also helping this along, says IATA CEO Tony Tyler.
Buying used gives airlines an edge with aircraft makers looking for higher prices on new jets, too. And since airlines finally have some cash in the bank to play around with they have a greater freedom to make deals that are right for them.
The level of profitability revealed in the latest BTS report is leaves the Big 3 U.S. airlines room to improve their in-flight products and passenger services, without breaking the bank. But they have achieved this profitability in large part by becoming better businesses. If they are to stay profitable when the next inevitable industry downturn comes, they will need to keep improving their retail models.
Air France is also under threat from its own management missteps and inability to sort its labor relations.
We dream of a day when the true cost of flying is not made opaque by multiple fees designed to sow confusion and avoid taxes.
Hedging fuel costs may be one of the toughest parts of the airline industry. Delta, for example, took nearly $2 billion in hedging losses in the first three quarters of 2015. The problem, though, is that given the turmoil in the world these days, these low oil prices are going to burn up eventually.
Thank you Indian politicians for making all other politicians appear to have a mastery over transport and travel.
U.S. airlines need to rely on a better revenue model than crossing their fingers and hoping fuel prices drop.
Great news for road trippers, the RV industry, and commuters. Bad news for states and countries that have based their economies on oil.