US scheduled airlines should record an operating profit of $500 million this year, but "with continuing interest costs and income taxes," they will probably lose $2-$2.5 billion at the after-tax level, according to a forecast from AeroEcon, which is headed by former Air Transport Assn. Chief Economist David Swierenga. Swierenga predicts that traffic likely will rise by about 6% in 2005 while capacity will increase roughly 4%-4.5%, resulting in another year of record load factors. However, ...

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