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US airlines struggle to hang on until profitability returns

The past month has been difficult for US air carriers. Vanguard suspended operations and filed for bankruptcy. US Airways also filed for protection from creditors, and United warned it may be next. American announced deep layoffs and other cutbacks. Experts warn of more troubles ahead but say the carriers that survive the shakeout should emerge stronger. The top 10 US airlines, based on second-quarter sales, with the profit or loss in that quarter in parentheses (in billions unless otherwise noted):

1. American Airlines $4.5 (– $465.0 million)
2. United Airlines 3.8 (– 392.0 million)
3. Delta Air Lines 3.5 (– 186.0 million)
4. Northwest Airlines 2.4 (– 93.0 million)
5. Continental Airlines 2.2 (– 35.0 million)
6. US Airways 1.9 (– 248.0 million)
7. Southwest Airlines 1.5 (+ 102.0 million)
8. America West 544 million (– 8.5 million)
9. Alaska Airlines 477 million (– 2.2 million)
10. ATA 318.5 million (– 22.8 million)

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– Agence France-Presse