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F.A.R.C. the airlines?

That's what Joe Brancatelli, editor and publisher of, the former executive editor of Frequent Flyer magazine, travel advisor of Travel Holiday, and contributing editor to Travel + Leisure, wants to do (subscription required to read the whole thing). He says:

    Six months from now, after the historically lean first quarter, the entirety of the Big Six could be bankrupt. While I don't care if these carriers live or die on their own, a simultaneous bankruptcy could mean $30 billion of pension liability shifted to taxpayers and perhaps $100 billion owed to a wide range of businesses wiped off the books [Sue interjects--like all of us!]. And THAT would lead politicians to cry "crisis" and throw untold billions of taxpayer dollars at the "problem." I think it would be better and cheaper if we moved proactively. We could nationalize, rationalize and refloat the Big Six--an idea I suggested two years ago--or create something I call the Federal Airline Reconstruction Corp. (FARC) That independent agency's job would be simple: Bribe the Big Six into managing their businesses better.

Do you think he's onto something? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do agree that it's in all our best interests to keep the majors from going belly up.

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