June 20, 1996 |
With two aging DC-9 jetliners and a dead aim on becoming the WalMart of the airline industry, ValuJet took the nation by storm in 1993 and soon gained recognition as the fastest-growing, most profitable airline in the history of deregulation. ValuJet handed passengers peanuts rather than Salisbury steak and a plastic-coated number tag instead of a ticket--all part of a low-cost strategy in which even its chief executive worked at a $100 desk purchased at Home Depot.
December 11, 1994 |
How rapid is change in business today? A reported comment questioning whether the airlines--one of the leading industries of the 20th Century--could ever really be a good, substantial business caused airline stocks to sink last week. Noted investor Warren Buffett later denied he made such a comment, but the point is that Wall Street didn't need to check. Professional investors agreed with the sentiment that the airlines had become a low-profit, commodity industry.
September 17, 1994 |
A Japan Air Lines' plan to start hiring contract flight attendants at half the pay of full-status employees has stirred a new controversy here over government intervention in private business. The battle--unusual only in that it has gone public--is not over yet. But signs are pointing to a victory for business. It started in August, just as JAL was about to interview applicants for jobs as contract flight attendants.
August 15, 1994 |
USAir Group Inc. and its pilots union are further apart on wage concessions than expected, but a deal to rescue the troubled carrier from high labor costs still looks possible, analysts say. Before the union issued a sweeping proposal early this month to restructure USAir in exchange for pay cuts, some analysts had seen the airline implementing labor cost savings by September. That forecast now looks overly optimistic.
August 13, 1994 |
Continental Airlines launched a fall air fare sale Friday that slashed airline ticket prices from Los Angeles to the East Coast to as low as $318 round trip. Major carriers, including American and USAir, said they will match the fare reductions of up to 60%, but only on competitive routes. The fare cuts come despite one of the healthiest summers in recent years for airlines.
August 8, 1994 |
More than 900 Delta Air Lines workers face the prospect that they'll either have to leave California or quit their jobs because of a lease dispute between Delta and Los Angeles airport officials. At issue is Delta's 40-acre city-owned facility on Century Boulevard next to Los Angeles International Airport. Delta, with its lease expiring next March, faces sharply higher rent if it wants to stay on the property.
August 7, 1994 |
His black valise in tow and a blank stare on his face, Christopher Atayan waits to board a small American Eagle turboprop that he dubs "the flying sewer pipe." Atayan logs 100,000 air miles a year as a New York investment banker. Too many of them, he said, are aboard cramped little puddle jumpers like the one he waits to board.