World airline profitability in 2011 was estimated by International Air Transport Association (IATA) to reach $7.9 billion, the second consecutive year in which all regions were break even or profitable. This expansion was fueled by continuous traffic growth and steady increases in overall ticket prices. These positive trends were countered by rising oil prices, continued financial turmoil in the Eurozone and increased political tension in the Middle East and North Africa. While airline profitability was considered fragile, it was contrasted by another record year for aircraft orders. The growing backlog in the large single-aisle aircraft segment remains a concern, as a sharp increase in traffic demand would be required to absorb the excess capacity represented by these orders. After even a few tough years of industry consolidation and tremendous discipline in constraining capacity growth, it is difficult to understand the rationale behind deliberately introducing excess capacity back into the system. As optimization is always the survival instinct of the aviation industry, it will eventually find its way to adapt, adjust and ascend going forward.