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Word Count: 416
9-11 In the 6 years preceding 911 during what is undoubtedly a boom period for the economy the industry earned a mere 35 net profit compared to an average of 115 for the SP 500 In the wake of the events of September 11th the industrys problems are brought to the forefront Both business and leisure travelers have avoided air travel or moved to low-cost flights Airlines have been particularly hard hit by the fall in business travel on which they rely for roughly two-thirds of their revenues American carriers reduced their carrying capacity by 15-20 in anticipation of the collapse in passenger traffic However with Continental for example a 20 reduction of flights led to only a 12 reduction in costs As stocks plummeted most of the major airlines announced massive layoffs reduced capacity and lobbied for a government bailout The Congress approved a 15 billion bailout in September 2001 of which the 5 billion cash bailout served only to stem short-term losses that were the immediate consequence of airport shutdowns around the country Despite this there were a series of bankruptcies led by US Airways in August 2002 The bankruptcies have caused greater concern about air travel Travelers are weary of buying a ticket on an airline that looks like it may go bankrupt for fear of losing money and being left stranded in the event that it does The years following showed a further decline in performance The US Department of Transportations Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that among US airlines that reported traffic data there were 64 fewer passengers during the first half of 2003 compared to that of 2001 Between 2002 and 2003 however there was an improvement of 11 in traffic To avoid a repeat of 911 strict security measures have been introduced which again have led to a fall in traffic due to the increased hassle for passengers Apart from the fall in traffic
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