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Airlines expect a sag, but economies may help

The nation's airlines may be losing their shirts now because of the air traffic controller strike, but analysts say they could profit in the long run from increased loads using fewer planes, personnel, and fuel.

While airlines are losing about $30 million in revenues daily, these short-term losses could be offset by benefits from the strike if there is a long period when the supply of seats is restricted and demand returns to normal, according to analysts with Kidder, Peabody & Co.

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The experts stress, however, that the strike will affect individual carriers to differing degrees according to their route structures, fleet mixes, and financial conditions.