Delta and Southwest Airlines Lead Both Major and Low-Cost to Soaring Profits

Southwest joined Delta Air Lines Inc. in posting huge fourth-quarter profits. Although American Airlines was the only airline that reported a loss, Boeing said
that American has bought two new 777-300 extended range aircraft that have a total maximum list price of $568.2 million as part of its expansion plan.


Southwest Airlines reported
that fourth-quarter 2010 earnings rose 13 percent, to $131 million. Southwest executives
expressed optimism about the upward trend continuing saying that passenger bookings
through March look strong and business travelers are returning to the airlines
for travel now that the recession is easing.

Southwest Airlines Co. also
reported that it will expand its capacity by 5 to 6 percent this year by adding
additional flights. Southwest will expand its network further with the $1.4
billion purchase of AirTran Airways, which will give Southwest destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, Southwest also is ordering new, larger planes that could fly to Hawaii. Southwest recently revised its Boeing delivery schedule, resulting in three additional aircraft to be delivered in 2011.

Delta Air Lines today reported that their net income
for the final quarter of 2010 is $158 million.This is a $383 million Improvement
over the same time period last year.

Delta’s net income for the entire year of 2010 was $1.4 billion,
compared to their net income for the prior year which was $593

“Our 2010 results are
among the best in Delta’s history. They would not have been possible
without the dedication and determination of Delta employees worldwide and we
are pleased we will pay more than $300 million in
profit sharing for 2010,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer.
 “These results are a direct reflection of the success of our merger,
cost discipline and debt reduction strategy and give us momentum to deal with
the rising fuel prices we face in 2011.”