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February 10, 2016

2014 Begins Profitably for Airlines; 2013 Another Big Year for Baggage Fees

U.S. passenger airlines’ profits rose in the first quarter of the year — an improvement on last year’s loss in the same period — but fell from the fourth quarter of last year, according to data released Monday by the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The airlines reported a net profit of $507 million in the first quarter of 2014, compared to a loss of $392 million in the first quarter of 2013. In the fourth quarter of last year, the airlines made $7.3 billion in net profits.

Airlines collected $28.7 billion from fares, which was nearly three-quarters of their total operating revenue in the first three months of the year.

The data show that operating expenses for the industry in the first-quarter were $36.8 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $10.2 billion, or 27.7 percent of operating expenses for passenger airlines and labor costs accounted for $9.7 billion, or 26.4 percent.

On the topic of the fees that airlines collect for checked baggage — a subject of discussion at last week’s House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on aviation financing — in the first quarter, passenger airlines got $791 million in baggage fees, which accounted for 2 percent of their total operating revenue, and $726 million from reservation change fees, a bit less than 2 percent of operating revenue.

Baggage fee revenues have grown from $464 million in 2007 to $3.3 billion last year.

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  1. White Army

    June 24, 2014
    7:08 a.m.

    Considering civilization’s complexity, we should not be surprised that the malcontents among us cast morals aside, succumb to their savage instincts, and rebel against the civilization they blame for their own unhappiness.

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