Airlines are having a profitable time again. It’s how they’re making money that’s causing some hassles for flyers.
Airlines are saving by eliminating their shorter flights and those to small and midsize cities, reports the Los Angeles Times. They’re also packing more people into larger jets to minimize wasted seats. Both strategies have served them well. In 2010, the largest airlines reported more than $5 billion in profit compared to a $9.2 billion dollar loss in 2002.
Over the last five years, more than 3,000 flights of less than 500 miles have been eliminated, and 61 airports have reported losing more than half of their carriers. That coincides with industry consolidation that now has five airlines carrying the vast majority of the passengers in the U.S.
The Top 5 airlines by passengers served are:
- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL)
- United Continental (NYSE:UAL)
- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
- American Airlines (PINK:AAMRQ)
- US Airways (NYSE:LCC)
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