Airlines earnings: More trouble than expected

The International Air Transport Association in March projected global airlines would lose $4.7 billion this year compared to $8.5 billion last year. The number for 2009 is almost certain to be worse than the forecast from three months ago as both passenger and freight loads drop.

The news reopens the question of whether all of the major U.S. carriers will survive as they are or whether there is more consolidation ahead that could turn two American airlines into one.