Trouble On The Horizon

Buffeted by rising fuel prices and falling traffic, U.S. airlines are heading for a major shake-out

Talk about bad timing. Just last week officials at Continental Airlines proudly unveiled new interior designs for their aircraft. But the spectacle of the troubled carrier showing off its blue-and-gray fabrics and contoured seating reminded airline experts of the old line about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Just a week earlier the airline had veered away from a return trip to Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, from which it had emerged four years ago. Instead Continental may try to raise cash by selling off some of its valuable routes and other assets. Like many of its competitors, Continental has been...

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