The first edition of Tailwinds outlines key metrics in the US airline industry. While the industry has become better at managing capacity and generating ancillary revenues, it faces rising costs for labor, maintenance, and fuel. Achieving profitability under these difficult conditions requires operating discipline and new ways of generating revenue.
Additionally, the paper examines two critical issues facing the regional airlines: the challenging economics of operating 50-seat regional jets and an "impending pilot shortage". The discussion reviews the immediate and longer term impacts of these factors, and how the regional airlines are dealing with them.