Bankruptcy at Braniff

An overly ambitious expansion grounds the ninth largest U.S. airline

Recession, price wars and sharply rising fuel costs have gravely wounded the airline industry during the past four years. Last week those troubles claimed their first major victim. Braniff International, the ninth largest U.S. airline, declared bankruptcy. It was the first failure of a major carrier since American aviation came flying out of the barnstorming era in the 1930s.

With a cool precision not always seen on its flights, Braniff in a matter of hours called in its 75 aircraft, canceled all flights, fired nearly 9,000 employees and threw a police guard around...

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