n this country, the demise of a great
airline is sad but not shocking. We've said farewell to Pan Am,
Eastern and many others, and we're getting used to the idea that
the TWA brand is slowly fading away.
But in Europe, historically, the national airlines have been
strong symbols of national pride, cherished as strategic economic
engines that contribute to employment, tourism and the national
These trends, and these emotions, have remained strong despite
privatization, deregulation, the rise of the EU and the growth of
global airline alliances.
And through it all, no nation in Europe has lost an airline that
had the global visibility or national symbolism of a Pan Am -- or a
For Switzerland and for Europe, this makes Swissair's brush with
oblivion all the more shocking.
If such a stunning business failure can happen in Switzerland,
government officials throughout Europe are doubtless fearful that
"it could happen here."
We are glad that the Swiss government was able to revive
Swissair, but we also hope the nations of Europe remain committed
to deregulation and the free market so that more overt and
intrusive forms of protectionism do not become, once again, a way
• • •
ometimes we overlook the simple
and the obvious. Somebody at Choice Hotels woke up the other day
with the bright idea of simply saying "thank you" to the
And thus was born a generous gesture and the "Thanks for
Traveling" campaign. Choice is offering the slogan and logo to any
travel industry company that wants to send a simple message to
consumers. Download it from www.thanksfortraveling.com.