America's major airlines are getting ready for tougher times ahead, slashing jobs and cutting back operations. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, soaring fuel prices will inevitably lead to higher ticket prices, which will lead to less passengers—which, in turn, will force airlines to hike fares again to cover flying costs. "The party's over, particularly for leisure travelers," one industry analyst said.
The record-breaking price of fuel is certain to hit the industry hard, but optimists think the cutbacks could be good news for the airlines over the long haul, as it shows an ability to adapt fast that has eluded the sector in the past. Smaller airlines, especially those who lease planes to the biggies, could be the worst hit by a turbulent economy.