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As the CEOs of major U.S. airlines predicted, consolidation has done wonders for the bottom line.
United's 4Q profits completely turned around in one year in part to higher fares, but also higher ancillary revenue, which jumped 15 percent to almost $21 per passenger last quarter.
While the forecast drop looks like bad news, it's still a good year for airlines. If you can make money when business begins to slow, you're in good shape.
IATA's numbers provide a fresh look at an under-performing industry, and the parameters of its proposed solutions are very predictable -- less taxation and weaker regulation.
Lower oil prices and cost-cutting contributed to the more profitable forecast, and fee revenue increasing to 5 percent of total revenue doesn't hurt, either.
Chinese airlines carried more passengers in 2011, but rising fuel costs mandated by a state monopoly and paid for in dollars after being earned in yuan undermined passenger gains.
The 1.3% increase in demand in mature-market North America pales in comparison to a contemplated 4.9% increase in passenger demand in Asia-Pacific.
Fees for bags, reservation changes, and seat upgrades have finally made U.S. airlines profitable, but the traveling pubic still isn't sold on the a la carte fee system.