When we are discussing the airline industry and the companies involved here, we need to differentiate between two periods: before the attacks of 11th of September 2001 and after the attacks, because the changes in the economic, social and political environment were so tremendous that they have changed everything radically, both in perceptions and in actions.
Before September 2001, Continental had had a troubled period during the 80s and at the beginning of the 90s, characterized by heavy losses, periods of economic default and bankruptcy. The coming of Gordon Bethune, president and COO, later elected CEO, changes began to take place within the company. These changes generally acted on four different plans: financial, marketing, product and people/employees. The success was almost immediate, with increasing value added for the customer, a better atmosphere in the work place and a different attitude from the employees, stimulated by subsequent bonuses and prizes....
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