Airlines plan to reduce flying next year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Airlines plan to reduce flying next year

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Airlines are putting next year's growth plans on hold, with high fuel prices and a sluggish economy forcing them to focus on flying that will turn a profit.

United Continental Holdings Inc. plans to keep flying levels flat next year.  Delta Air Lines Inc. is cutting flying.  AMR Corp.'s American Airlines is cutting flying more than it had planned for the fourth quarter, too.  Those three are the biggest U.S. airlines.

Delta president Ed Bastian told an analyst conference on Tuesday that demand has remained strong.  But he says the airline assumes high fuel prices are here to stay, and it wants to make sure it only flies the routes where demand is strong enough to be profitable.  Upon this news, airline shares rose sharply.

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