AIRLINES: Diverging on Merging

U.S. airlines have been reeling from a combination punch: their costly, shiny new jumbo jets arrived just as a recession cut back the predicted increase in air travel. Last year the U.S. trunk carriers ran up a total loss of $179 million; TWA alone went some $60 million into the red. As always when in trouble, the airlines resorted to a wide-ranging exploration of merger possibilities-the classic, though not always successful industry device for rescuing the flounderers. Some carriers have already reached merger agreements. Currently pending before the Civil Aeronautics Board are three proposed consolidations that could strongly affect the...

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