47 largest airlines collect $21.46 billion in extra fees

Fees to check luggage, change reservations and upgrade to a seat with more legroom, among other charges, have generated $21.46 billion for the world’s 47 largest airlines, according to a new study.

The report by a Wisconsin-based airline consultant found that the revenue collected in 2010 from such ancillary fees represents a 775 percent increase in revenue since 2007, when only 23 airlines reported collecting $2.45 billion.

The study by the consulting firm IdeaWorks shows that airlines have been enjoying strong growth in such revenue since the industry began adding extra fees in 2008 in response to the global economic recession.

The parent company that operates United and Continental airlines reported collecting $5 billion in ancillary fees from the soon-to-be merged carriers, the most of any airline company, according to the report.


Dunkin’ will start selling single-serve Keurig cups

Dunkin’ Donuts will start selling its coffee in single-serve Keurig cups today, beating rival Starbucks Corp. to the market in a fast-growing portion of the coffee business.

The K-Cups can be used in Keurig brewing systems, which have gained popularity in offices and homes. The company that makes them, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., first announced its partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts in February. Since then, it has also announced agreements with Starbucks Corp. and ConAgra Foods Inc.’s Swiss Miss hot chocolate brand. Starbucks plans to start offering K-Cups in the fall.

They will be available only at Dunkin’ Donuts shops, not at grocery stores or other retailers where Dunkin’ sells bagged coffee


SEC charges 4 drug execs with misleading investors

Federal regulators are charging four pharmaceutical executives with misleading investors with claims that a drug derived from goat’s blood might be approved for human use.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that the executives told investors they were seeking permission to test the drug on humans in the U.S. and Europe.

The SEC said U.S. health authorities have twice blocked the clinical trials. The charges are against Immunosyn Corp. CEO Stephen Ferrone, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Douglas McClain Jr., Argyle Biotechnologies LLC CEO James Miceli and Chief Scientific Officer Douglas McClain Sr. Argyle is Immunosyn’s biggest shareholder.


Alaska’s oil wealth fund increases to $40.1 billion

A fund established decades ago to share Alaska’s oil wealth with future generations has hit $40.1 billion.

The Alaska Permanent Fund on Tuesday reported a 20.6 percent gain for the recently ended fiscal year, its third-highest return and biggest since 1986.

Stocks comprise about half the fund’s total value and were the biggest contributor to its overall performance.

The fund expects to transfer $800 million for dividend checks, which nearly all Alaskans receive annually.


Unum Group’s income rises in second quarter

The Unum Group, based in Chattanooga, Tenn., reported Tuesday a net income of $229.8 million or 75 cents per share for the second quarter of 2011, compared to its net income of $209.7 million or 63 cents per share for the same quarter last year.

In a statement released Tiuesday to its employees, Unum, which has offices in Maine, said the company continues to produce solid results. Those results included a 9 percent growth in sales.