The US airline industry appears to be on course for net profits of around $2.5 billion, making 1996 the best year in its history. American Airlines is leading so far with $854 million, although Delta Air Lines has come close with $754 million before special charges, and Northwest Airlines notched up $573 million. Continental Airlines also reached an historic high with $319 million, while USAir climbed to $183 million. Evidence from the fourth quarter of 1996 suggests that demand is still buoyant. although yields have begun to dip again.

Source: Flight International