While US carriers are certainly in far better shape financially than in recent years, "profitability" is a relative term. Even considering that the first quarter is traditionally the weakest reporting period, it's hard to view the year's first three months -- when half of the 10 largest US airlines were in the red -- as anything but slightly disappointing given that 2006 was the industry's best year since 2000 and better results are expected in 2007. The carriers avoided big losses but ...

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