3/17 Lunch: John P. Heimlich, Vice President and Chief Economist, Air Transport Association

U.S. Airlines – A Global Perspective from Inside the Beltway

In 2011, airlines have been contending with rapidly climbing jet-fuel prices that have outpaced crude-oil prices to reach their highest level since September 2008. As of March 4, U.S. Gulf Coast jet fuel sold for $3.20 per gallon. Excluding hedge gains or losses, if U.S. airlines had to contend with $3 per gallon jet-fuel prices for all of 2011, their fuel bill would increase $15 billion, from $39 billion in 2010 to an estimated $54 billion in 2011. Mr. Heimlich will discuss how structural increases in the cost of energy over the past two decades are transforming the industry and what it means for revenue generation, domestic seating capacity, and the global competitive landscape. Mr. Heimlich will field questions on the airlines’ quest for sustained profitability and positive returns on invested capital.

UPDATE: Slides from the talk may be downloaded here: Heimlich slides (PDF).