Definently Continental. They were left nearly dead when Lorenzo was booted out, and they went on to become even better than they were before. Besides being a domestic airline, they became highly-international as well as a mega-carrier. Before Lorenzo, I don't believe CO
was really considered a mega-carrier. Even more remarkable is how quickly they rebounded. It took less than a decade to recover from the damage. Northwest, too, back in the late 1940s, made a remarkable recovery when one of their Martin 202s suffered a fatal accident. This crash nearly bankrupted Northwest. Northwest recovered nearly instantly though, within a matter of years. It is so successful today because of KLM, though. The last airline I would like to credit with making one of the best airline comebacks is TWA. TWA has proved to have the greatest survivability rate of any airline until the end. TWA survived Carl Icahn, Howard Hughes (especially Hughes, since they became an even bigger carrier after he left), and TWA also survived the 1970s crisis. Everyone was assuming the airline was going to fall for at least 22 years. But the airline always surprised us until 2001. However, I think that Bob Crandall's departure from TWA was when the glory days of the airline were over. The man that made American into the huge airline it is today would probably cause TWA to play American's role in the world today, and American may have been absorbed by TWA.