Aviation: Two into One

To the undisguised surprise of their competitors, two of the nation's most hard-pressed trunk airlines—National and Continental—last week announced plans to join forces. The resulting line, to be christened National-Continental, would be the fifth largest U.S. air carrier, outranked only by United, American. TWA and Eastern. The merger proposal, which calls for National stockholders to get 1¾ Continental shares for each National share they hold, seems likely to win quick approval from the Civil Aeronautics Board, whose Kennedy-appointed chairman, Alan S. Boyd, is an outspoken advocate of airline consolidation.

The proposed merger seems to make good economic sense. National,...

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