Airplanes packed, profits soar

Actually, fewer passengers are expected to fly between Dec. 17 and Jan. 6 than during the same period last year. But planes will be just as cramped because the carriers are reducing the number of available seats. If you're an airline shareholder, this is good news: North American carriers are projected to report a profit of $2.4 billion in 2012, up sharply from $1.7 billion a year earlier. Next year could be even better, provided that the economy holds up. Keep in mind, however, that 2012's net profit margin is expected to be only 0.6 percent. That's extremely low, even by the standards of an industry that seldom makes much money.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent Aerospace stories:
Why they keep flying into Santa Monica airport
Morley Builders says CEO and son were in SMO crash
Deaths in jet crash at Santa Monica airport
Boeing to end C-17 production in Long Beach
How much longer can C-17 production last in Long Beach?

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook