The low cost carriers (LCCs) have a dilemma. Their market has been contracting for some time now but moreover it is the fact that their rivals, the traditional airlines that make up flag carrier and legacy groups, are seeing their core base return to growth. The LCCs have thrived over the past five years because they were able to absorb rocketing fuel prices through their low cost base or because they were able to negotiate impressive long-term hedges as was the case with Southwest. This advantage has now gone. Also to the advantage of the LCC was the decline in

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