A retired TWA airline pilot sent me the following quotes about the airline industry. I don’t know where he got them or whether they are true quotes. However, they are priceless, so I am posting them.
Sort of what you would expect in a competitive industry.
These days no one can make money on the goddamn airline business. The economics represent sheer hell.- C. R. Smith, President of American Airlines.
A recession is when you have to tighten your belt; depression is when you have no belt to tighten. When you've lost your trousers - you're in the airline business- Sir Adam Thomson.
As of 1992, in fact-though the picture would have improved since then-the money that had been made since the dawn of aviation by all of this country's airline companies was zero. Absolutely zero.- Warren Buffett, billionaire investor, interview 1999.
I think it's dumb as hell, for Christ's sake all right, to sit here and pound the shit out of each other and neither one of us making a fucking dime. Well - I mean, goddamn! What the fuck is the point of it? Nobody asked American to serve Harlingen. Nobody asked American to serve Kansas City. . . . If you're going to overlay every route of American's on top of every route that Braniff has, I can't just sit here and allow you to bury us without giving you our best effort. Oh sure, but Eastern and Delta do the same thing in Atlanta and have for years. Do you have a suggestion for me? Yes, I have a suggestion for you. Raise your goddamn fares twenty percent. I'll raise mine the next morning. You'll make more money and I will too. Robert, we can't talk about pricing. Oh, bullshit, Howard. We can talk about any goddamn thing we want to talk about.- Robert L. Crandall and Howard Putnam, from United States v. American Airlines Inc. and Robert L. Crandall, U.S. District Court, CA383-0325
You fucking academic eggheads! You don't know shit. You can't deregulate >> this industry. You're going to wreck it. You don't know a goddamn thing!-Robert L. Crandall, CEO American Airlines, addressing a Senate lawyer prior to airline deregulation, 1977.
If we went into the funeral business, people would stop dying.-Martin R. Shugrue, Vice-chairman Pan Am.
I've said many times that I'd be thrilled to sell the airline to the employees and our guys said no, we'll take all the money, anyway.- Robert L. Crandall, 1997.
I mean, they get paid an awful lot of money. The only good thing about them is they can't work after they're 60.- Judge Prudence Carter Beatty, New York Southern District Bankruptcy Court, regards Delta Air Lines pilots. Reported in The Wall Street Journal, 18 November 2005.