Major airlines’ balance sheets are feeling the strain from surging oil prices and increasingly fierce competition from budget carriers. In 2004, jet fuel prices surged 21%, with the New York Harbour contract reaching an all-time high of $1.68 a gallon in October.
Airlines with inadequate or non-existent hedging programmes are under particular pressure. Just last month, US airline Delta told the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it expects to post a substantial net loss in 2005, p
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