Does a Clinton Presidency bode ill for weak U.S. airlines? While experts say foreign investment may be the best hope for rescuing USAir, Continental, TWA, and America West, they note that President-elect Clinton has initially appeared cold to such sales. Clinton has expressed strong reservations about a $750 million stake by British Airways in USAir. Some industry executives say that if the British don't win a deal under Bush, BA may walk away.

Indeed, others believe Clinton's campaign comments helped persuade Lufthansa to drop out of the bidding for Continental Airlines. But Air Canada, one of two final bidders for Continental would be unlikely to face such obstacles if its bid is accepted. American Airlines is now talking about an investment in Canadian Airways, following the collapse of merger talks with Air Canada.

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