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June 14, 2008 01:14AM
http://nz.biz.yahoo.com/080613/8/63pv.html

US airline catastrophe looms under record oil prices

The US airline industry is set to crash as record oil prices threaten to push several carriers into bankruptcy, threatening "our American way of life," an industry study said Friday.

"As a consequence of the skyrocketing price of oil, the US commercial aviation industry is in full-blown crisis and heading toward a catastrophe," said a study issued by AirlineForecasts and the Business Travel Coalition.


At current oil prices near 130 dollars a barrel, several large and small US airlines will default on their obligations to creditors, beginning at end-2008 and early 2009, the study said.

The grim industry snapshot comes as US airlines cut fleets, jobs and capacity and add fees as they struggle with spiraling jet fuel costs and a weak domestic economy...............

...............Every 10 dollar increase in the price of oil results in four billion dollars in additional costs for the 40 passenger-only airlines, according to the study, "Oil Prices and the Looming US Aviation Industry Catastrophe: A Hole In The Transport Grid."

The airlines are on track to spend 30 billion dollars more on jet fuel in 2008 versus 2007, it found, with the top 10 carriers accounting for almost 25 billion dollars.

The study found that with oil prices in the 135 dollar range, the airline industry "could be forced to park upwards of 1,000 aircraft and shed over 80,000 employees, and still not return to health.

"The consequences will be devastating to US jobs, families, businesses, communities and our American way of life."...................
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