AVIATION: Braniff Stretches Out

In the Midwest, Braniff InternationalAirways and Mid-Continent Airlines seemed made for each other. Theyboth tapped different territories, had no competing routes, and fedpassengers to each other. Last week, with the blessing of CAB andstockholders of both lines, they merged. The new line will be known asBraniff. Mid-Continent’s stockholders will trade 1½ shares of theirstock for one share of Braniff’s. The merger boosts Braniff’s domesticroutes from 4,831 miles to 10,234 (plus 7,599 miles of routes in LatinAmerica), increases the number of its planes from 32 to 58, and makesit the world’s twelfth biggest airline.

CAB has been urging such mergers not only to improve airline service butto cut costs, and thus reduce the size of airline subsidies. TomBraniff, who will continue to boss the line he founded 24 years agowith a single-engine Stinson plane and 116-mile route, is notanywhere near through expanding. He has applications pending for routesinto Pittsburgh, New York and Washington and hopes, by equipmenttransfers with other lines, to extend his service to the West Coast.

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