The Air Transport Association of America’s (ATA) quarterly Airline Cost Index, shows costs faced by US passenger airlines rose 5% to 209.8 in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the same period of 2009. The composite airline cost index remains approximately 110 percent higher than its level of 100 in 2000. The three largest components of the index – which includes all operating expenses, as well as interest expense – were fuel, laboir and transport-related expense, respectively. Improvements in fuel efficiency, labor productivity and revenue generation helped offset the higher composite costs, pushing the break-even load factor down 8.7

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