You're ruthless, Southwest
ATA Airlines is dead and now you, like a vulture, want to pick at the carcass. This week, you bid $7.5 million for a portion of the defunct airline’s assets, including its operating certificate and 14 flight slots for New York's LaGuardia Airport. A bankruptcy court is reviewing your application now.
They won't find a plan to take over ATA's jets, or hire its former employees, or assume its gates at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. You want to grow as cheaply as possible -- just like your peers at UAL Corp.'s
But you're more ruthless than any of them. You're a grave robber.
Someone had to be; our capitalist system thrives on creative destruction. You've embraced this truism knowing that you'll very likely take criticism for doing so. Former ATA employees will call you heartless. They'll call it a tragedy. Guess what? They'll be right. But no one said that capitalism was easy. Failure is an essential element of the system.
Failure creates opportunity for survivors. Assets are absorbed, competitive advantages created -- here, seven new daily nonstops in JetBlue's
Congress should be taking notes. Ford
You're ruthless, Southwest. And that's exactly as it should be.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Find his portfolio holdings here and more of his Foolish writings here. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is ready for take-off.