Which major airlines and travel companies are under financial pressure?

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That was the hot question at the recent U.S. Travel Association's TravelCom conference last week. Many travel companies have too much debt and will have to work hard to survive.

Reporter Dennis Schaal reported on the event for Travel Weekly. Some highlights:

American and United may have to enter Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings next year, unless things improve soon. Of all the airlines, they have the most debt and it has been costing them more to fly each seat one mile than passengers are willing to pay, says the Wall Street Journal.)

Orbitz and Travelocity have a lot of debt. Expedia might buy Orbitz, or Travelocity might merge with Orbitz. Schaal adds that Orbitz is particularly hard hit in this recession because it didn't diversify its business into hotels and vacation packages as much as the other online travel agencies did and that profits from selling airline tickets has been shrinking, especially now that everyone is waiving their booking fees.

Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line are also more heavily indebted than the industry average.

Here's hoping that every company finds a way to work smarter and survive. We're rooting for all of you!

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