I have heard a lot of people over the years predict that one of the first casualties of Peak Oil would be the airline industry. When fuel prices rise, airlines have to raise prices. When they do that, people don’t fly as much.
Whether peak is upon us or not, sustained high oil prices are providing a preview of a post-peak airline industry. Most airlines are losing money like mad. Northwest and Delta are merging. Aloha Airlines went bankrupt. Frontier has declared bankruptcy. Beyond the bankruptcies of some smaller carriers, Richard Branson is predicting that one of the majors will go bankrupt within 18 months.
It’s an ugly situation, and I don’t see it getting better any time soon.