Once proud Pan American World Airways has been steadily losing money since 1969, the victim of overstaffing, overcompetition and overbuying of costly jumbo jets. But nothing has threatened the airline's survival more than the quintupling of oil prices. Pan Am's fuel bill last year soared by $194 million and was the prime factor behind its $81.8 million deficit, the alltime highest for a U.S. airline. There is a certain irony, therefore, in the fact that desperately needed succor will come from a major instigator of high oil prices. Last week the White House endorsed a deal by which...

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