Don't look now, but US legacy airlines are in better shape to challenge their low-cost rivals than at any time since the start of the millennium. Sure, that sounds farfetched. After all, in many respects the US legacy carriers entered 2005 in much the same way that they entered 2004: Awash in a sea of red ink, facing continued yield erosion and with a cost structure that is not sustainable in today's market. Without the bank of GE, half of them probably would be in liquidation by ...

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