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Major airlines post mixed results this week

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Big US carriers mostly post encouraging Q1 results

American Airlines has posted a first-quarter profit of $480 million. That contrasts with the $297 million loss for the same period a year earlier for the combined AMR and US Airways, which bonded in a merger in late 2013.

Falling operating expenses fell during the quarter. But over the coming year American Airlines will have to solidify the merger by spending a great deal on combining tech systems.

United Continental posted a bigger quarterly loss due to increasing expenses and tumbling revenues – partly because of winter-storm flight cancellations. The loss stood at $609 million, compared with $417 million a year earlier.

Southwest Airlines, however, saw its quarterly profit more than double as fares increased and costs were held down. Net income was $152 million, compared to $59 million a year earlier. The Dallas-based airline aims to start international services later this year.

Delta Air Lines, meanwhile, reported a higher-than-expected first-quarter profit and gave an optimistic outlook. Net income was $213 million, up from $7 million year-on-year.

Virgin Atlantic also posted good news this week. Its pre-tax loss for the year to 31 December 2013 halved to £51 million, from £102 million in 2012.

Reuters

[pictured: American Airlines’ new livery]

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