Severely affected by soaring fuel costs, US airlines staggered out of the starting gate in 2008, with the nation's 10 largest carriers posting a cumulative net loss of $11.76 billion. The US industry's recovery--perhaps the story in global air transport circles last year--rather abruptly has become a thing of the past. Delta Air Lines' and Northwest Airlines' noncash goodwill impairment charges totaling $10 billion made the quarter look much worse than it actually was. Still, the 10 ...

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