Troubled Air Transport Industry

Archive Report

Airlines' Economic Plight

The friendly skies have become increasingly troubled for commercial aviation in the United States and throughout the world. Depressed economic conditions have cut into airline traffic while operating costs have spiraled upward. For the past two years, airlines have been awash in red ink, and industry experts see little hope for a dramatic upturn in the near future. Two big international airlines have gone belly up this year alone. British-based Laker Airways folded early in the year, followed in May by the spectacular collapse of Braniff International.

Airline troubles have spilled over into the aircraft manufacturing industry as well. Shrinking airline profits and high interest rates have cut into sales of both new and used aircraft by the two remaining U.S. commercial jet ...

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