Airlines In Turmoil
The year 2003 saw commercial passenger aviation continue
to ebb in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, war in Iraq and
the SARS epidemic. In August, we wrote:
US Airways is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy; United's stock is at 1950s
prices, as it slides toward Chapter 11; AMR's saying it's going to
be many years before record losses are made up; Boeing Credit is
looking at $1.2 billion in UAL's debt, possibly about to become
"non-performing" -- Where will it end?
Concorde Goes The Way Of The Do-Do
The single commercial entry into supersonic flight is now
museum fodder, after both British Airways and Air France retired
their Concorde fleets in 2003. It was a traumatic decision for many
aviation enthusiasts -- especially those in the United Kingdom,
where there's still an effort afoot to keep the supersonic aircraft
in the air.
The death knell for the Concorde was sounded twice -- once, when an
Air France version crashed on take-off from Charles de Gaulle in
Paris and finally in the massive industry downturn following the
9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. The Concorde's passing was
without a sonic boom, but with a whimper.