Air Transport World

Check-out time is never. (airline bankruptcy)

Chapter 11 is the Roach Motel of the U.S. airline industry. Airlines check in but they don't check out. Eastern spent nearly two years trying to right itself before it finally gave up the ghost in January, 1991. Pan Am survived for less than. a year after checking in; Midway Airlines' stay was even shorter.

In fact, since the Chapter 11 process was created in 1979, only one large U.S. airline has completed a reorganization and then, only for a relatively brief period. Continental Airlines entered bankruptcy in September, 1983 and emerged in September, 1986. However, only 51 months later, it was back in Chapter 11, where it still resides today. All told, Continental has spent five of the last nine years in bankruptcy. Although with Air Canada's bid having been accepted, the odds are good that Continental will emerge again, it will not do so as an independent airline but rather, as a part of Air Canada's global system. …

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