AIRLINES: American the Vincible

Set to lilting music and flashing happy scenes of sea and mountains, American Airlines' TV commercials stress a beguiling theme: "To the good life." Yet for American, the nation's second largest domestic airline behind United, the good life has soured as a result of labor, scheduling and overcapacity troubles in the past year. Lately American has resolved some immediate difficulties, but repairing the damage to its once gleaming image is likely to take time.

For this year's first five months, the line dived $36.1 million into the red, v. a loss of $12.8...

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