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U.S. airlines more than doubled their net profit margin in the first half of the year as revenue rose nearly three times faster than costs, trade group Airlines for America said on Thursday. The group, known as A4A, said the results suggest that the U.S. airline sector continued to improve its financial performance despite severe winter storms in the first quarter and increasing taxes as a percentage of ticket prices. A4A chief economist John Heimlich said, “The airlines have coped very well.” The improvement also suggests airlines will continue to have money to buy new aircraft, improve air terminals, increase wages, pay dividends and buy back shares. The airlines invested $7 billion in the first half on those and other items, Heimlich said, noting U.S. airlines are on track to take delivery of 314 new aircraft this year.

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