93

17 Rescue at the Edge of a Precipice

The crunch of April 1973 was particularly severe and nearly overwhelmed our infant organization. To borrow Charles Dickens’s famous opening in A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

By now, the financial crisis grew more menacing every day. On several occasions, the company had no funds to pay its debts. Airports threatened to impound planes for nonpayment of landing fees, creditors threatened to stop supplying materials, lending banks threatened to ground the entire fleet until payments were made, and we stopped reimbursing management’s expenses.

When our limited finances forced us to curtail our geographical expansion, we were in the troubling position of having ...

Get Changing How the World Does Business now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.