If something like 9/11 happened today—airspace in the world’s largest air transport market completely shut down for more than two days, plus weeks of tepid air travel demand—would a bailout akin to the one provided to US airlines in September 2001 be necessary? Probably not. US airlines have remade their financial situation, and are far healthier than they were in September 2001. Besides, the $5 billion in direct aid from Congress didn’t do much good for the US ...

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