Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The third installment of the International Aviation Law Institute's Conversations with Aviation Leaders oral history series is now online. For this round, the Institute hosted former American Airlines President and Charman Robert ("Bob") Crandall. Crandall led American Airlines through the turbulent period following deregulation to become one of the largest and most successful carriers in U.S. history. While initially opposed to airline deregulation, Crandall nevertheless found ways to help American thrive in the new competitive landscape by harnessing yield management to better price seats in relation to their value, developing the frequent flier program, and launching the computer reservation system Sabre. Though he retired from American in 1998, Crandall remains a strong voice in the airline industry. His speech calling for reregulation of the airline industry at the Wings Club in Washington, D.C. last year drew considerable attention and prompted Michael Levine, one the intellectual architects of deregulation, to answer Crandall's charges that deregulation amounts to a policy failure. (Both speeches were reprinted in Vol. 8, Issue 1 of IALI's biannual publication, Issues in Aviation Law and Policy.)
The series explores the origins, history, and record of U.S. airline deregulation with academics, officials, political figures, and industry leaders who played a significant role in this extraordinary public policy experiment. The series's earlier installements, with former Civil Aeronautics Board Chairman Alfred Kahn and Professor Michael Levine, are available online here and here.