Airlines: Paying for Jumbo

A few days ago, four airline chiefs slipped into the White House for an unpublicized hour-long chat with Richard Nixon. Exactly what the quartet —George Keck, president of United, Charles Tillinghast, chairman of TWA, Floyd Hall, president of Eastern and George Spater, chairman and president of American—told the President is supposed to be secret. Anyone who can read a profit-and-loss statement, however, will have little trouble guessing what the meeting was about. The airline chiefs complained to Nixon that their industry is in its worst financial mess since the introduction of passenger jets in the late 1950s, and will...

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