Buoyed by fuel hedge gains, Alaska Air Group, parent of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, reported that it earned $17.4 million in the second quarter compared to a loss of $1.7 million last year. Excluding special items, the current-period result rose to $24.7 million versus income of $8.2 million in 2004. Fuel hedges contributed $27.6 million in the quarter, up from $25.9 million last year. But profits took a back seat to mea culpas as Chairman and CEO Bill Ayer expressed regret for a ...

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