Air Transport World

Myths to live and die by. (Editorial)

Perhaps more than most industries, we in the airline business are wont to surround ourselves with myths about the kind of business we're in. Most of these myths are fairly harmless, such as the idea that flying a 727 five times a day between New York and Boston is somehow glamorous work or that passengers actually care what kind of airplane they are on.

Unfortunately, other myths are not as benign. These are the ones that rule our industry during an up cycle and are debunked as the next down cycle reveals them for what they are.

For example, there is the myth of the stable fuel supply. Airlines behave as if prices of the stuff that they burn are not linked to the fact that much of the world's oil originates in a region that is violently unstable and has suffered through at least half a dozen major wars since 1945, innumerable coups, guerrilla struggles and acts of terrorism. …

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