Airlines stay up, fight new regulations

Terminal four at JFK airport in New York City

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: The International Air Transport Association said today global airlines are doing better than expected. Though some places are doing better than others. Meanwhile in the United States, airlines are fighting back against new regulations. Marketplace's Alisa Roth joins us live from our New York studio to talk about it. Good Morning Alisa.

Alisa Roth: Good morning.

Chiotakis: So how much better are airlines really doing?

Roth: In some measure, this is just one of those "It's good news because it's not as bad as we thought" stories. The International Air Transport Association, which speaks for the industry, says the whole sector will only lose $2.8 billion. So yes, it's a lot of money, but it's half what they'd predicted just a few months ago.

Chiotakis: Is that true, Alisa, across the board, or are there regional differences going on?

Roth: There are some big regional differences. U.S. and European carriers will probably keep losing money this year. Companies have cut their travel budgets and people just aren't flying as much. But in Latin American and Asian, airlines are actually expected to earn money this year, and demand in both those regions is growing.

Chiotakis: And some U.S. carriers are still having a hard time, right?

Roth: That's right, but they're also fighting back -- or at least it seems like they're fighting back -- against new regulations. At the end of next month, new rules go into effect that'll basically fine airlines for keeping passengers on the tarmac for more than three hours without giving them a chance to get off the plane. And what airlines are saying is that they're going to avoid that problem, you know avoid those fines, by cancelling flights much more aggressively. So if there's even a hint that there could be weather problems.

Chiotakis: All right. Marketplace's Alisa Roth reporting from New York. Alisa, thanks.

Roth: You're welcome.

About the author

Steve Chiotakis was the host of Marketplace Morning Report until January 2012.

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