This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Airlines Could Show Big Three the Way

Stocks in this article: gm f

Still, the Pan Am bankruptcy may be instructive for the auto industry. For one thing, management and labor worked together to forge contract terms for a new Miami-based Pan Am. They reached a deal, after working through the night of Dec. 3, 1991.

However, in court the next morning, that plan collapsed, idling 7,500 workers, because Delta decided at the last minute not to provide promised financing. Delta did, however, acquire Pan Am's Kennedy hub, saving the jobs of about 8,000 employees who came with it. Today, the Kennedy hub is a major asset, underpinning Delta's international expansion.

The success of the recent bankruptcies has been even more obvious.

In the case of US Airways, then-CEO Bruce Lakefield, a retired Lehman Brothers executive, approached bankruptcy with the idea that he wanted to save jobs. "I didn't really come into this for anything but that reason, and that mission was accomplished," he said in a 2006 interview. "Whenever I ride an airplane, and I ride fairly often, more people thank me than I could ever imagine."

Delta not only survived its bankruptcy but also, more than any other carrier, took the opportunity to remake itself, emerging as an international airline and dramatically boosting its level of unit revenue relative to competitors. The subsequent merger with Northwest built on that base.

At one point at Tuesday's hearing, Sen. Mike Crapo, (R., Idaho) referred to bankruptcy, noting: "Delta Air Lines went through it, and now we see some significant progress there," but he could not erase the specter of the bankruptcy bogeyman. "We just can't be confident that we'll be able to successfully emerge from bankruptcy," said Chrysler's Nardelli.

Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, went even further, seeming to view bankruptcy as a contagious disease. "If one of these companies was to go into bankruptcy, he said, "I would almost bet it would take another one with it, or possibly all three."

3 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs