The early '90s were a rotten time for the airlines. Pan Am and Eastern went to their graves. Continental somehow lurched on with one foot constantly in the grave, as did TWA. American CEO Bob Crandall complained to a reporter in '93 that he hadn't had any fun for the past three years. Northwest looked shaky. Canadian just barely cheated death in 1992-93, while Air Canada was rather sickly itself.
If you don't remember much of the early '90s, be thankful. After the colourful '80s, the early '90s was like living under an omnipresent gray cloud mass. Unemployment in Canada zoomed from 7% in the summer of '90 to nearly 12% in the summer of '92. Brian Mulroney's disapproval
rating hit 80 percent. The great depressant of political correctness was on the march, dampening people's sense of humour just when they needed it most. Dark themes dominated at the box office and on the Top 40 charts. In his book, To Hell With Picasso And Other Essays
, writer Paul Johnson wrote up an excellent summary of the recession years in "No Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay This Decade".
At least political correctness is on the retreat, so hopefully we'll be able to laugh about something and occasionally escape from reality this recession. That alone should provide a little bit of hope.