• U.S.

AVIATION: Braniff Stretches Out

1 minute read

In the Midwest, Braniff International Airways and Mid-Continent Airlines seemed made for each other. They both tapped different territories, had no competing routes, and fed passengers to each other. Last week, with the blessing of CAB and stockholders of both lines, they merged. The new line will be known as Braniff. Mid-Continent’s stockholders will trade 1½ shares of their stock for one share of Braniff’s. The merger boosts Braniff’s domestic routes from 4,831 miles to 10,234 (plus 7,599 miles of routes in Latin America), increases the number of its planes from 32 to 58, and makes it the world’s twelfth biggest airline.

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

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