Assessing the Financial Condition of Civil Reserve Air Fleet Participants

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The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) consists of commercial air cargo and passenger carriers that have agreed to augment the Air Force's air mobility and transport capabilities in times of national emergency. Several reports have indicated that the CRAF is expected to play an important national-defense role in the future in augmenting the Air Force's airlift capacity. Between 199294, CRAF participants played a significant role in 12 major airlift operations. In order for the Air Force to be able to rely on CRAF participants responding when needed, it is important that the participants be financially healthy. In the past, the Air Force has lost CRAF participants Braniff Airlines, Eastern Airlines, and Pan Am Airlines due to bankruptcy and liquidation. This research assesses the financial condition of CRAF participants using data envelopment analysis via a window analysis. The results indicate that CRAF participants struggled financially in the early 1990s but have since recovered with two exceptions, Trans World Airlines and Reno Air.
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