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Buffett’s Course Reversal on Airlines Sparks Talk of Acquisition

  • Once burned by the industry, he has stakes worth $9 billion
  • Airline shares are cheaper as Berkshire looks for a big target
A Delta Airlines Inc. jet takes off at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. 

A Delta Airlines Inc. jet takes off at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia. 

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloombergt

Warren Buffett, who once joked that capitalists should have shot down the Wright brothers’ first plane and saved investors money, has made a course correction that’s raised the idea he’s considering the purchase of an airline.

Thirty years after a troublesome investment in USAir, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has amassed stakes that make his holding company among the biggest shareholders in the four largest U.S. airlines. Last year, the famed investor said he wouldn’t rule out owning a carrier, prompting talk about which one he’d grab.