Southwest Airlines ranks behind most of its U.S. competitors on fuel cost per available seat mile for domestic narrowbody aircraft, which may help explain its record-setting deal for modernizing its fleet. An Aviation Week analysis, using Oliver Wyman’s PlaneStats.com analytic tool for airline data filed with the U.S. Transportation Department, shows a fuel cost per available seat mile of 3.51 cents for Southwest in 2010. That placed the country’s largest low-cost carrier behind ...

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