The nation's 10 largest airlines earned a combined $152 million in profits in 2012, according to a report released Thursday by an airline trade group.
If that sounds rather meager, that's because it is.
It represents 21 cents of profit for every passenger who boarded a plane in the year, or a margin of 0.1%, according to an analysis by the industry trade group Airlines for America.
The profit margin is a 64% drop compared with 2011, when the same 10 carriers reported net income of $418 million or a 0.3% margin, according to the trade group.
The trade group blamed the razor-thin margin in 2012 on an increase in maintenance material, fuel and labor, among other costs.