Air Transport World

Stubborn: it's time to get flexible.(Editorial)(airlines to operate under free-market regime)(Editorial)

Our fixation on internationalizing the airline industry grows with each report of multimillion-dollar losses, layoffs, agonizing labor negotiations and airlines stumbling along in a near-death state. Exactly when, we wonder, will the realization dawn that network carriers do not have a right to exist just because they are big and millions of people fly them. US and most EU airlines operate under a free-market regime in which the occasional company failure is expected.

An economic recovery alone will not ease airline anguish. In fact, right now we are smack in the middle of the best economic conditions we'll see for several years. Airlines that built up massive debt loads during the peak of the recession are still losing money while those in Chapter 11 are jettisoning some debt but still are fighting to get to breakeven. …

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