News Summary: US Airways 4th-qtr profit doubles

News Summary: Full planes boost US Airways 4th-quarter profit; a recipe for higher fares?

Associated Press

THE RESULTS: US Airways Group Inc. saw net income more than double for the fourth quarter as it carried more passengers. For the full year, the airline reported its largest profit in its history.

THE REASON: By one measure, fares actually fell slightly in the fourth quarter. But the number of passengers rose, and its planes were 2 percent fuller.

WHAT'S NEXT: The airline says strong demand plus fuller planes usually leads to higher fares. US Airways is also in merger talks with American Airlines, an issue that it didn't address on Wednesday.

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