Flying Among the Merger Clouds

Consolidation is the game in the buffeted airline industry

For Frank Lorenzo, chairman of Houston-based Texas Air, triumph was savored in poker-faced silence. For Donald Burr, Lorenzo's onetime protege and chairman of ailing, once revolutionary People Express, it was time to put the best possible face on defeat. The two fierce rivals and captains of cheap U.S. air travel sat at opposite ends of a table last week in Manhattan's St. Regis- Sheraton hotel to announce what many had expected: the long, tortuous People Express saga had ended with the airline's tentative sale to rapidly expanding Texas Air. The price: a bargain $125 million. At the same time, Texas Air...

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