The Presidential Daily Brief


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    How Expensive Fuel Spawned Cheaper Flights

    Look under the hood. Budget carriers like Portugal’s TAP are joining the long-haul game, ferrying fewer than 200 passengers per trip between Europe and North America, thanks to new generations of Boeing 737s and Airbus 320s. High fuel prices a decade ago spurred development of super-efficient engines, allowing these smaller jets to save fuel, pollute less — and cross the Atlantic. While cheap airlines’ nickel-and-diming for extras annoys passengers, one analyst maintains that for a $65 hop to Porto, “people will fly inside a barrel of toxic waste.”

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