US Airways reports 1Q net loss, but is worst over for industry?

Most major airlines have been reporting first-quarter losses -- including one from US Airways this morning -- but in many cases, the results aren't quite as grim as analysts expected. JetBlue Airways, the growing carrier that doesn't serve PHL, became the latest to report a small profit.

The results give hope to those who run and invest in airlines that the steep drops in traffic may be bottoming out. There's more evidence that's happening with leisure travelers than business fliers, which has prompted some observers, like Rick Seaney of www.farecompare.com to expect that some of the deeply discounted ticket prices we're seeing could soon come to an end.

US Airways' results, taken directly from its news release: The parent US Airways Group, Inc. said it had a net loss for the first quarter of $103 million, or 90 cents a share, including net special credits totaling $157 million. This compares to a net loss of $237 million, or $2.58 ar share for the same period last year. Excluding net special credits, the company reported a net loss of $260 million for its first quarter 2009, or $2.28 a share. This compares to a net loss excluding special credits of $240 million, or $2.61 per share for the same period last year.

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US Airways said the results were significantly affected by the costs of fuel hedging transactions. Here's the news story on US Airways results and a news story on JetBlue.

Other hopeful signs of recovery, in reports from AirTran and Continental, were rounded up by airline beat reporter Linda Loyd this morning.

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