Oil slide 'turbocharging' airline profits: Expert

Airline stocks flying high

Airline profits are set to soar as oil prices remain suppressed when the big four are already flying high, aviation consultant and author Mark Gerchick told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.

"The bigger picture here is oil is turbocharging an industry that has already figured out how to make a profit at $100 a barrel of oil. It's a boost, and it keeps on giving," the former Department of Transportation official said.

The cost of crude oil is down nearly 50 percent from highs touched in June.

Prior to the plummet in oil, airline companies had already become more focused on their bottom lines as they sought to pack planes in a so-called process of "densification," Gerchick said. The focus on the high-end business traveler and fare increases have also changed the revenue picture, he added.

There are few signs of a price war, as the four major players in the market — American Airlines Group, Delta Air Lines, United Continental, and Southwest Air — have all said they will not add capacity, he said. Gerchick also see little chance of new players entering the market in 2015.

American Airlines planes and passengers at the O'Hare International Airport, Chicago.
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