Airlines: Forecasts call for cheaper oil, shortage of de-icing fluid
Airline analysts are expecting the industry to save so much money on fuel costs next year that it could offset sharply lower revenues because of the worldwide recession. The latest forecast for lower oil prices -- to $25 a barrel or less -- comes from Merrill Lynch. We're still trying to figure out what happened to those fuel surcharges imposed last spring and summer that now seem to be baked into air fares. Look for some work on that in coming weeks.
In the meantime, the federal government has warned that airlines and airports could face a shortage of de-icing fluid, needed any time snow or ice falls to make sure airplanes can take off safely. The cause of the shortage is a long strike by Canadian miners of potash, a key ingredient. Airports say they'll find other chemicals to make up for the shortage, but that could wind up being more costly. Read more here.