@redrum The latest rulebook (of the reprint) elaborates even more on this subject:
*You cannot deliberately send air units into combat situations that place them out of range of a place to land afterward. In the Combat Move phase, prior to rolling any battles, you must be able to demonstrate some possible way (however remote the possibility is) for all your attacking air units to land safely that turn. This could include a combination of combat moves. It could also include noncombat moves by a carrier or the mobilization of a new carrier. If it does include noncombat moves by a carrier, then the carrier cannot move in the Combat Move phase.
In order to demonstrate that an air unit MAY have a safe landing zone, you may assume that all of your attacking rolls will be hits, and all defending rolls will be misses. You cannot, however, use a planned retreat of any carrier to demonstrate a possible safe landing zone for any fighter. Once possible landing spaces for all attacking air units have been demonstrated, you have no obligation to guarantee those landing zones for air units in the course of battle. For example, aircraft carriers
may freely retreat or be taken as casualties, even if doing so leaves air units with no place to land after combat (such air units will be destroyed at the end of the Noncombat Move phase). However, during Noncombat Movement you must provide for safe landing of as many air units as remains possible after all combats are resolved.
If you declared that a carrier will move during the Noncombat Move phase to provide a safe landing zone for a fighter moved in the Combat Move phase, you must follow through and move the carrier to its planned location in the Noncombat Move phase unless the fighter has landed safely elsewhere or has been destroyed before then or a combat required to clear an intervening sea zone failed to do so. Likewise, if you declared that a new carrier will be mobilized to provide a safe landing zone for a fighter, it must be mobilized in that sea zone unless the fighter has landed safely elsewhere or has been destroyed.*