Shootout in the Skies

As the air-control system rebuilds, Pan Am sets off an air-fare battle

A full-fledged price war was under way in U.S. skies last week, defying most rules of economics and common sense. It happened at a time when the walkout of nearly 12,000 air controllers was forcing airlines to curtail their schedules and pack passengers sardine-style into the planes that are still flying. Unlike many recent air-fare battles, the combatants were not the small upstart carriers or the thriving regional airlines. This time the big trunk lines that dominate air-traffic lanes were fighting it...

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