I was reading an article today, and it contained the following quote: "This nation's economy is inextricably linked to the viability of its air transportation system. If the airlines continue to spiral downward, so will the economy."
Does anyone really believe that? Airlines alone have the power to bring down the economy? I don't think so. Oh, yes, jobs will be lost, consumers will have to pay more for tickets and get less in return, and much of the economy is tied to airplanes, but if a few of the largest airlines went belly-up, it's not the end of the world. Other airlines will step in to fill in the gaps, and the industry will get back on its feet again.
Some of the air traffic will move to more cost-efficient means of transportation--trains, boats, or trucks. Passengers will be more likely to drive to their destinations, or perhaps go by bus or train.
The death of an airline or two may cause some hardships, but it's hardly going to topple the economy. Now the housing problems and credit crunch..... Those are serious issues that can severely hurt the economy.