The Worst Year for U.S. Airlines

"Like lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff''

Sir Freddie Laker, the British businessman whose Laker Airways went bankrupt two weeks ago as a victim of the cut-rate fares it once pioneered, is not alone. U.S. airlines also have big problems stemming in part from a suicidal fare war that has been raging for months.

At a time when winter vacationers should be heading for sunny shores or ski slopes, boosting the fortunes of airlines, the carriers are reporting staggering losses for 1981 and predicting worse misery for 1982. Airline executives and industry experts would...

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