People Express was a discount airline started in the early 1980s as a result of airline deregulation. It was the darling of business school case writers because of its early success, its charismatic CEO, and its innovative and participative human resource practices. Employees all owned stock in the firm, etc. Soon the airline was in financial trouble after becoming overextended. It ultimately followed the downward path of other startup airlines that became overextended, whether or not they had inspirational CEOs or innovate HR practices. This portrait was made in 1984 just as troubles began. Subsequent parts of this sequence go into the failure.
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