Airlines fly into holiday season in the black

A jet lands at Los Angeles International Airport

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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Welcome to the biggest travel day of the year. The airline industry thinks 4.5 million people will take to the air between today and tomorrow. That's an increase of almost 2.5 percent over last year. Marketplace's Dan Grech reports on what a difference 12 months can make.


DAN GRECH: Last year airlines lost $5.7 billion. This year the industry expects to make as much as $3 billion in profits. It will be the first time in five years airlines are in the black.

This holiday season is icing on the cake. Prices are up, planes are more crowded, and more people are flying.

George Hamlin is an airline expert at Morton, Beyer and Agnew.

GEORGE HAMLIN: The airline industry is returning to health in a profitability sense. There seems to be less concern about the security features driving people away for a while. The fact that traffic overall is up is a good sign.

The Air Transport Association predicts an even better 2007. Profits are expected to soar to $4 billion.

In New York, I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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