Airlines will look back on a solid 2006 as they start reporting year-end financial results this week, but investor attention will be riveted on their outlooks for 2007.

By all accounts, this year should be even better, with industry profits the highest since 2000 because of continued strong travel demand, fewer flights and lower oil prices. And none of the forecasts includes any merger benefits should the US Airways-Delta deal or other talked-about pairings get off the ground.

"I would expect it to be a very good year, and if oil prices stay where they are . . . an exceptional year," said Jim Corridore, airline equity analyst with Standard & Poor's.

Get the full story at USA TODAY