As the dust settles from U.S. airline mergers, American carriers will seek to further the integration benefits that helped them achieve record profits last year.
With less competition and a greater focus on managing the peaks and troughs of travel demand, airlines are fighting for profitability rather than market share. “I see this as a really good year for U.S. carriers,” says David Swierenga, president of Texas-based consultancy AeroEcon. “Controls on capacity will hold the line on costs, and with the forecast this year for fuel costs declining, the cost side of the equation looks good. And on the revenue side, traffic increases with an economy that is stabilizing or growing.”