Fighting For Their Lives

The world's airlines, battered by war and recession, slug it out in a brawl that will reshape the industry for years to come

Planning a trip? You'll be happy to know that Pan Am, American and Northwest airlines have drastically cut fares for travelers buying tickets before March 1. British Airways would like to cut transatlantic fares one-third, and TWA, USAir and Pan Am want to cut them that much or more, if the government lets them. Air carriers are offering dramatic bargains -- and not out of benevolence. They're desperate.

In 1990, their all-time worst year, the world's airlines lost a record $3.5 billion and nearly half their passenger traffic to the threat of war and the pain of recession, and they figured...

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