AIRBORNE PROFITS

MIDWEST EXPRESS HAS DONE WELL BY TREATING ITS UPSCALE PASSENGERS WELL

In the brave new world of deregulation, airlines have foundered from a deadly mix of overexpansion and downward pressure on fares. Then there is Midwest Express Airlines, an upstart based in Milwaukee, Wis., that pampers customers with wide leather seats, free champagne and provisions that arrive on china--and thus far has a habit of pulling premium fares from passengers' pockets.

Tim Hoeksema, 50, Midwest's chairman and CEO, is a walking advertisement for the benefits of deregulation. He started as a pilot with Kimberly-Clark Corp. in 1969, back when the government assigned routes and set profit margins, assuring existing carriers a captive...

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