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The business of flying planes isn’t what it used to be. Between a troubled economy, post-9/11 travel wariness, and now the bankruptcies that are plaguing airlines like severe weather, times are unusually bleak for the industry. But for Elizabeth Lanier, the new GC of US Airways, it’s the perfect moment to come aboard.

“I love it,” says Lanier, a bankruptcy veteran. “It’s very exciting to be on the ground as part of the turnaround team.” Lanier, 51, joined the company in April, just days after it emerged from Chapter 11.

Lanier filled the spot left vacant by former GC Michelle Bryan ["Top Guns," June 2002], who left the company in March, after a 20-year tenure with the carrier. Bryan held the top legal job for less than a year, and, according to the company, has now retired.

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