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Ownership rules clip wings of U.S. airline profits

Reuters Breakingviews delivers agenda-setting financial insight. Its global correspondents react to stories as they develop, delivering sharp and provocative commentary on big financial news as it breaks.

U.S. airlines need to fly abroad for better returns. The $11-billion (U.S.) union of US Airways and AMR should boost the industry’s profitability. But earnings won’t be able to pick up more altitude until America’s airlines team up with overseas rivals. Some such deals could nearly double margins. But it requires Congress to lift curbs on foreign ownership.