European airline optimism about returning to profitability in 2004 is fading as quickly as the year. Two-digit traffic growth, strong load factors and decent yields are not enough to offset the punishing blows dealt by soaring fuel prices. The inability to achieve a sustainable return on investment is paving the way for an in-depth debate centered on reconsidering the airline industry's business model. "Market recovery has materialized, this is undisputable, traffic is improving but ...

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