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Alaska Airlines Wild Alaskan Salmon 737. Credit Alaskan Dude.

Alaska Airlines Wild Alaskan Salmon 737. Credit: Alaskan Dude.

By Joe Brancatelli

All of the big U.S. carriers except American Airlines reported a profit for the second quarter of 2010 and you may be surprised to learn which was the nation’s most profitable–Alaska Airlines. It turned in a second-quarter profit of $84 million on revenue of $976 million. That gives it a net-income margin of 8.36 percent, the best in the nation and far better than the industry’s 2Q average margin of 5.87 percent.

Making a profit certainly makes it easier to explain why an airline called Alaska is actually headquartered in Seattle, has 10 percent of its capacity going into Hawaii and flies a million passengers a year to Mexico. The airline will be adding still more service to Mexico on November 20 when it launches three weekly flights between San Jose, California, and Los Cabos. And Alaska isn’t ignoring the cold weather, either. It announced a code-share and frequent flyer deal with Icelandic, which offers flights to Reykjavík from Seattle.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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