Airlines: Mating Season for Big Birds

The operations of your company reflect a continued pattern of growth, which is characteristically expensive.

That opening line in Northeast Airlines' 1968 annual report ought to win a corporate-euphemism award. Almost since its first flight in 1933, Northeast has been a kind of New Haven Railroad of the skies. It made a profit only once in the past twelve years—in 1966, when a strike grounded competitors. Otherwise, it lost up to $10 million annually. Last week, however, "The All-Steak Airline" became a pioneer of sorts. After numerous unsuccessful efforts to sell Northeast, Storer Broadcasting Co., which owns 86% of the...

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