Air Transport World

Year-end blues. (editorial)

In the pantheon of business failures, Rick Dubinsky's stands out, even by today's standards, for its totality. Dubinsky is the fellow who led the pilots of United Airlines through most of the three years spent trying to acquire the airline from its parent UAL Corp., a journey to nowhere that ended in mid-October when the UAL board of directors resoundingly rejected the pilots' proposal and instead returned stewardship to Chairman Stephen Wolf.

The pilots' failure is all the more remarkable for the fact that it occurred over a period during which it seemed that Wall Street was willing to finance just about any hare-brained scheme that came down the pike. So determined were the pilots to take over the airline that they attracted and allied themselves with some of the worst elements of American capitalism: The corporate raiders and sharks who over the past decade turned so many of the pilots' fellow workers in other industries out onto the streets. …

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