Everyone knows bad weather diminishes airline operational performance, but few realized good weather can diminish financial performance.
Also at the conference, United (UAL - Get Report) CEO Jeff Smisek discussed government policy toward airlines, which are among the country's most heavily taxed businesses. According to trade association Airlines for America, the cost of a $240 round-trip between Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and San Francisco soars to $300 because taxes add 25% to the fare. A4A has said a national airline policy is needed to rationalize the regulatory and tax environment, force action on long-stalled improvement to an anachronistic air traffic control system and ensure U.S. airlines can compete globally. Smisek says Mideast carriers, such as Emirates Airlines, have the backing of their governments, which is "just the opposite of what we do here." In the United Arab Emirates, it is safe to say the national airline is a widely respected symbol of the country's wealth and capabilities. In the U.S., by contrast, many residents, encouraged by negative media reports, suffer from anti-airline feelings -- which translate into antagonistic government policy. "Having a national airline policy is important unless the policy is destroying airlines, which I believe is the policy [here], because of the high level of taxation," Smisek says. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/tedreednc. Related Articles 9 Oil, Gold Stocks That Rise on Bad News 10 Mid-Cap Stocks That Have Almost Doubled in 2012 10 Top Warren Buffett Dividend Stocks