Continental Airlines 777-200. Courtesy, CO This year's fuel price spike prevented US major airlines from improving profitability year-over-year in the third quarter, but the country's seven largest airline companies still earned $1.09 billion in combined net income for the three months ended Sept. 30, ATW calculated. That was down 45.1% from last year's $1.98 billion third-quarter net profit but an impressive result given a 14.9% year-over-year rise in costs to $34 ...

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