The earnings picture for U.S. carriers in the first quarter was much worse than last year’s Q1—but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. It was indeed good—and good is good. Their success comes while wrestling with rising labor and fuel costs, and fickle demand.
Allegiant continues to lead, and with confidence surely brimming, it’s buying new planes and slowing growth. American is benefiting from improving conditions in South American and at its Dallas-Fort Worth hub. Despite a big profit decline, Southwest posted a double-digit profit margin. JetBlue had a particularly bad fuel bill. Spirit is enduring an operational mess. And Alaska did just fine despite some bad weather.