Make us your home page
Instagram

All nine major airlines expected to post third-quarter profits

At least someone is enjoying packed planes, rising fares and fees for services that used to be free. Three major airlines reported healthy profits Wednesday for the peak summer travel season: Delta Air Lines ($363 million), American Airlines parent AMR Corp. ($143 million) and US Airways ($240 million). All nine major carriers are expected to post third-quarter profits this week, something that hasn't happened since 2007. Not long ago, all but a handful of airlines were swimming in red ink. So, what happened to an industry that seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis?

Fewer seats

Airlines parked planes and cut flights first to counter spiking oil prices in 2008 and then to help weather the travel slump sparked by the recession. That put carriers in the driver's seat when demand for travel perked up this year. Airlines could raise fares and didn't need to sell off empty seats at deep discounts.

Fees

The upswing in travelers helped airlines collect more from service fees. For the three months ended in June, carriers collected $893 million in checked baggage fees, up 33 percent from a year earlier. They also pocketed $594 million in reservation change fees (down 2 percent) and $618 million in other kinds of fees like carrying pets onboard (up 14 percent).

Better discipline

In previous years, airlines rushed to add flights and grab market share when business got better. That resulted in lots of empty seats and cut-throat fare wars to fill them. Good for consumers but a disaster for airlines, especially high-cost carriers. Airlines have only modestly increased flights this time.

More business travel

Grounded during the recession in 2009, business travelers returned to the road this year. Companies are sending them in coach and not buying pricey last-minute tickets. But an American Express business travel survey released Wednesday said domestic air fares in 2011 will go up 2 to 6 percent, while international fares will increase 3 to 7 percent.

All nine major airlines expected to post third-quarter profits 10/20/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:06am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation

    Business

    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  2. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]
  3. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion

    National

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]
  4. Ford, Chinese partner look at possible electric car venture

    Autos

    BEIJING — Ford Motor Co. and a Chinese automaker said Tuesday they are looking into setting up a joint venture to develop and manufacture electric cars in China.

    In this April 23, 2016 photo, attendees take smartphone photos at a promotional event for Ford Motor Company ahead of the Auto China car show in Beijing. Ford Motor Co. announced an agreement Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 with a Chinese partner to look into forming a joint venture to develop and manufacture electric cars in China. [AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein]
  5. Judge throws out $458,000 condo sale, says Clearwater attorney tricked bidders

    Real Estate

    CLEARWATER — Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold on Monday threw out the $458,100 sale of a gulf-front condo because of what he called an "unscrupulous" and "conniving" scheme to trick bidders at a foreclosure auction.

    John Houde, left, whose Orlando copany was the high  bidder June 8 at the foreclosure auction of a Redington Beach condo, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground,  during a hearing Monday before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Jack St. Arnold.  [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times ]