Aviation: The Merger Broker

In a major policy turnabout, the Civil Aeronautics Board last week went out in search of a merger partner for ailing Northeast Airlines. Historically, CAB has been hostile to airline mergers. But under its new chairman, Democrat Alan S. Boyd, 38, the board has decided that mergers are "one of several highways out of the airlines' current problems." For Northeast, which lost $8,000,000 last year, merger is probably the only way out.

Like Capital Airlines, which earlier this month merged with United Air Lines, Northeast is in part a victim of CAB's ill-advised attempts to strengthen weak airlines by granting...

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