Preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Transportation released today says America's major airlines lost an aggregate $433 million in the first quarter of 2013, which in the Worst Business in the World counts as good news since they lost $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2012. That leaves them on pace to actually make money for a year or two before either a recession or a revival of Chinese growth (and hence higher oil prices) pushes them back into their customary loss-making posture.
Perhaps a rosier way of looking at it is that of the top nine airlines, six made money. The aggregate losses exist because United and American both lost a ton of money, and American is getting bought by US Airways and presumably will be led by the US Airways executive team in the future.
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