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Pro Analysis

Breakingviews: Warren Buffett’s love for moats trumps fear of flying

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people, in an interview with Squawk Box on February 29, 2016.
Lacy O'Toole | CNBC | NBCU Photo Bank | Getty Images
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people, in an interview with Squawk Box on February 29, 2016.

Warren Buffett beats up on few industries with the regularity of American airlines. In a 2007 investor letter, the Sage of Omaha, still smarting from an errant $358 million investment in US Air two decades earlier, called the sector a "bottomless pit" for capital. He quipped that investors would've been better served if aviation pioneer Orville Wright had been shot down at Kitty Hawk. Now his Berkshire Hathaway is sinking more than $1.3 billion into the four largest U.S. carriers. What gives? It's simple – Buffett's love of competitive moats has trumped his fear of flying.