Delta’s announcement of $800 million in profits for 2011 is further evidence that the airline industry is arriving at a period of sustained stability – a soft landing, if you will.

Despite oil prices averaging over $100 a barrel and less travelers taking to the skies this year, the airlines- through a combination of timing, luck, and a few sound business decisions- have reached a point of higher resiliency and robustness.

The industry’s “flying cheap” strategy, along with gains from more fuel efficient aircraft and employee givebacks, have coupled with expectation changes in the customer landscape to arrive at this moment.

Looking forward, 2012 should be another year of continued stabilization for an industry that greatly impacts us all.