Cab AirlinesAvenue Airlines
In the absence of the CAB's guarantee of returns, many historic airlines - Pan Am, Eastern Air Lines, Braniff International - found out that they were not competitive in the new open market environment and were finally banished to the garbage can of air travel annals. Prior to deregulation, airlines were competing only with the services as tariffs were controlled by the state.
A lot of people recall this time as the "golden period of aviation" when air hostesses - known at the time as cabin crew - were carving chateau ribs on wheeled trolleys and airlines were installing grandstand pianos in the top deck of their Boeing 747s. As a result of de-regulation, a new type of air transport company, the low-cost carriers (LCC), has emerged.
Southwest Airlines was a small local company at the point of deregulation that was hindered by the CAB regulations from operating outside Texas. Today, Southwest is the biggest US inland air company in the field of passengers, which no one could have predicted in 1978. The Southwest is a track record, but deregulation has enabled airlines to develop new businesses.
Peoples Express may have come and gone (and may one day be revived), but it and others like it, have shaken the US aircraft industry's gloves and democratic travelling worlds. While we can look through our pink goggles and long for the day of our chateau briands and grand pianos lounge, in the end firms like Southwest and newer ones like Spirit let more humans soar more.
The deregulation did leave behind Pan Am and Braniff and, to a smaller degree, Trans World Airlines without strong indigenous shuttle systems and permitted national airlines such as Delta Air Lines to request flights internationally. Although Pan Am and Braniff fought to build national networking, they were not successful in the end, although it took until 2000 for TWA to join American Airlines.
There are some who claim that the huge consolidations of the US aviation sector over the last ten years, which have led to three major airlines - four if the southwest is involved - are the last act of deregulation. Surviving operators - Delta, United and American - have learnt to be fierce rivals and have merged established national as well as multinational networking sites, many of which have been purchased from providers such as Pan Am who failed.
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