Business: War Over the Atlantic

One day last week a note bearing the seal of Her Britannic Majesty's Government arrived at the U.S. State Department. It announced a unilateral British decision to chop the frequency of U.S. airline service between Chicago and Miami and London by one flight a week beginning this winter. The note was the most serious salvo to date in what promises to be a bitter, high-stakes U.S.-British commercial battle that may eventually involve every airline flying the rich North Atlantic route.

At talks beginning next month in London, the British aim to rewrite the so-called Bermuda agreement. That pact, originally signed in 1946,...

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