THE 'NEUTRAL' AIRLINE MYTH
Shortly after a bomb destroyed Pan Am Flight 103 in December, Gillette recommended that its international travelers fly non-U.S. carriers. The reason was simple: Gillette, like many companies and individuals, believes that flag carriers of neutral countries are “safe” airlines. The “safe airline” theory might once have been valid. But not anymore. In the 30 days after the Pan Am bombing, at least 15 other international flights were delayed or diverted because of bomb threats. There were terrorist threats against airlines owned by the Australian, Indian, French and Scandinavian governments. Planes were threatened at airports in Switzerland, Japan, Greece, Brazil and Italy. Several weeks after Pan Am 103 was destroyed, the Defense Department coincidentally issued a 131-page “guide” to terrorist organizations around the world. Fifty-two terror groups were listed, reflecting a worldwide mix of races, creeds and nationalities.