Editor's note: This was originally published on RealMoney earlier this month. With the Delta-Northwest merger back in the news, it is being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.Airline executives are popping champagne corks this week. They knew that a powerful direct hit by Gustav would have decimated the industry. Simply put, the financial position of many of the carriers is extremely tenuous, and oil prices above $140 or even $150 surely would have triggered faster cash burn rates and closed the doors to badly needed balance-sheet fixes.
Airlines in Transition: Industry Pressures and Responses
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