Public Policy: Competition v. Solvency

From the moment President Kennedy appointed him chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board in 1961, Florida Democrat Alan S. Boyd, 40, made it plain that he was anxious to do something about the plight of the nation's airlines. Plagued by skyrocketing costs and too many empty seats, the country's trunk lines dropped over $35 million last year. Boyd's proposed cure: more mergers to create stronger companies. Said he: "It takes a big company to sustain the burden of keeping pace, when aircraft cost $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 apiece."

Airline bosses were quick to take Boyd at his word ; early this...

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