Southwest Airlines said first-quarter profits fell from $93 million last year to $34 million in the first quarter of 2008. The airline attributed the decline in profits to higher fuel costs and the weaker economy. It said it will scale back plans to grow this year.
The Air Force is close to naming the builder of a new search-and-rescue helicopter. A team comprised of Bell Helicopter Textron, Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland is competing for the contract. Sikorsky Aircraft is also bidding for the contract, as is a team led by Boeing.
A Senate measure would increase funding for Bell Helicopter's V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft by $230 million. The measure would reduce funding for night-vision goggles and equipment for destroying mines to pay for the aircraft.
Higher fares may help some airlines post profits in 2006. Airlines continue to face soaring fuel prices, but three airlines reported improved first-quarter results this week. Some airline executives say the industry's recovery is continuing.