Hard Landing: The Epic Contest for Power and Profits That Plunged the Airlines into Chaos
Thomas Petzinger Jr.
In this updated paperback edition of a "rich, readable, and authoritative" Fortune) book, Wall Street Journal reporter Petzinger tells the dramatic story of how a dozen men, including Robert Crandall of American Airlines, Frank Borman of Eastern, and Richard Ferris of United, battled for control of the world's airlines. 416 pp. Radio drive-time pubilcity. 20,000 print.
most frequent fliers, Marshall negotiated contracts with the airlines—“fly-drive” deals in which an airline and a rental car company, within the boundaries of a particular country, would try to increase their respective sales by promoting the other’s products. When his old boss at Avis, Bud Morrow, heard the news that Marshall was joining British Airways as the number two man, his first thought was that the number one man had better watch out. But the chairman of British Airways was entirely
interview. 117. 50 deep in Houston: DeMott, Time, Oct. 10, 1983. 118. “threat of a strike”: “Continental Air Union Leaders for Pilots and Flight Aides Vote to Strike Tomorrow,” by George Getschow and Charles F. McCoy, WSJ, Sept. 30, 1983. 119. instructed … Bruce Hicks: Bakes 6/11/93 interview. 120. requisite training: Detailed in 60 Minutes, CBS Television Network, Apr. 15, 1984. 121. peculiar individual: Baxter’s behavior was described by his fellow ALPA leader in Houston, Dennis Higgins,
Aeronautical Society R. J. Mitchell Lecture, Mar. 4, 1992. 10. “east of the Mississippi”: Quoted in “USAir’s Business Strategy Succeeds in Deregulation,” by Carole A. Shifrin, Aviation Week, May 14, 1984. 11. represented the largest airline: “USAir Will Get $750 Million from British Air,” by Brett Pulley, WSJ, July 22, 1992; “Air Raid,” by Paula Dwyer et al., BW, Aug. 24, 1992. 12. a single airline: Dwyer et al, BW, Aug. 24, 1992. 13. 20,000 pairs: Robert L. Crandall, “International Aviation
to decline. The airlines also provide vivid case studies in corporate strategy. The terrific sums of capital at stake and the numbing repetitiveness of their operations make airlines uniquely sensitive to the commands of management. Even a question of substituting chicken Parmesan for chicken divan becomes a vital corporate matter—to say nothing of deciding to which continents an airline should fly, what fares it should charge, how many jets it should buy, or whether it should assent to the
aggressive competitor as well as an excellent manager at the top. Once again, he thought of Dick Ferris. True, Ferris was only 38 years old, much less experienced than other worthy contenders. But Ferris, he believed, could grow into the job. When Carlson nominated Ferris as his successor, the United board kept him waiting for two hours while deliberating over the choice. Finally Director Justin Dart, a California industrialist serving in Gov. Ronald Reagan’s “kitchen cabinet,” emerged from the