One-time transactions are helping U.S. airlines stabilize their balance sheets as they try to ride out the brutal downturn. A new update of AVIATION WEEK’s Top-Performing Companies study shows the financial health of large U.S. carriers rose slightly in the first half of 2009 after taking a nosedive in 2008. But the improvement was largely underpinned by stock sales, bulk purchase of frequent flyer miles from credit card partners and asset refinancing.


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