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-Industry group touts US airline performance.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2013 M2 COMMUNICATIONS

Washington, DC-based industry trade organisation Airlines for America said that US airlines delivered one of their best years ever for operational performance in 2012.

The group said that US airlines also built on their safety record and achieved a narrow profit as expenses grew faster than revenues for the second consecutive year.

According to the Department of Transportation's Air Travel Consumer Report, the nation's carriers achieved the best year for on-time arrivals since 2003, a record-high success rate of 99.7% for baggage handling, the lowest cancellation rate since 2002 and reduced tarmac delays.

The 10 US airlines reporting full-year 2012 results to date earned a combined USD 152m or 21 cents of net profit for every passenger enplaned.

Earnings fell as expenses rose 4.7%, outpacing 4.5% higher revenues. Maintenance material led the increase in costs, followed by fuel, labor and other items.

The price of jet fuel reached a record-setting, year-long average of USD 128 per barrel, costing these carriers approximately USD 50bn for the second consecutive year.

Revenues increased 4.5 % but were outpaced by expenses that rose 4.7 %. Fuel costs rose 5.9 % and fuel remained the industry's largest cost at USD 50bn or approximately 36 % of total operating expenses, an all-time annual high.

According to the Department of Transportation, the airlines had the best year ever for baggage performance with 99.7 of every 1,000 passengers having their bags properly handled.

Also, 81.85 % of U.S. airline flights arrived on time, the third best year on record and the highest since 2003. The flight cancellation rate of 1.29 % was the lowest since 2002, aided in part by better-than-expected weather.

Tarmac delays were also down year over year, the group said.

Find out more at www.airlines.org.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Feb 22, 2013
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