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Airline

Airline

Overview

An airline provides air transport services
Civil aviation
Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices...

 for travel
Travel
Travel is the movement of people or objects between relatively distant geographical locations. 'Travel' can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.-Etymology:...

ing passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

s and freight. Airlines lease
Leasing
Leasing is a process by which a firm can obtain the use of a certain fixed assets for which it must pay a series of contractual, periodic, tax deductible payments....

 or own their aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 with which to supply these services and may form partnership
Partnership
A partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.Since humans are social beings, partnerships between individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, and varied combinations thereof, have always been and remain commonplace...

s or alliances
Airline alliance
An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate on a substantial level. The three largest passenger alliances are the Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. Alliances also form between cargo airlines, such as that of WOW Alliance, SkyTeam Cargo and ANA/UPS Alliance...

 with other airlines for mutual benefit. Generally, airline companies are recognized with an air operating certificate
Air Operator's Certificate
An air operator's certificate is the approval granted from a national aviation authority to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public...

 or license issued by a governmental aviation body.

Airlines vary from those with a single aircraft carrying mail
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

 or cargo
Cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...

, through full-service international airlines operating hundreds of aircraft.
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Encyclopedia

An airline provides air transport services
Civil aviation
Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military aviation, both private and commercial. Most of the countries in the world are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization and work together to establish common standards and recommended practices...

 for travel
Travel
Travel is the movement of people or objects between relatively distant geographical locations. 'Travel' can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.-Etymology:...

ing passenger
Passenger
A passenger is a term broadly used to describe any person who travels in a vehicle, but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle to arrive at its destination....

s and freight. Airlines lease
Leasing
Leasing is a process by which a firm can obtain the use of a certain fixed assets for which it must pay a series of contractual, periodic, tax deductible payments....

 or own their aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 with which to supply these services and may form partnership
Partnership
A partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.Since humans are social beings, partnerships between individuals, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments, and varied combinations thereof, have always been and remain commonplace...

s or alliances
Airline alliance
An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate on a substantial level. The three largest passenger alliances are the Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. Alliances also form between cargo airlines, such as that of WOW Alliance, SkyTeam Cargo and ANA/UPS Alliance...

 with other airlines for mutual benefit. Generally, airline companies are recognized with an air operating certificate
Air Operator's Certificate
An air operator's certificate is the approval granted from a national aviation authority to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public...

 or license issued by a governmental aviation body.

Airlines vary from those with a single aircraft carrying mail
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

 or cargo
Cargo
Cargo is goods or produce transported, generally for commercial gain, by ship, aircraft, train, van or truck. In modern times, containers are used in most intermodal long-haul cargo transport.-Marine:...

, through full-service international airlines operating hundreds of aircraft. Airline services can be categorized as being intercontinental, intra-continental, domestic, regional, or international, and may be operated as scheduled services or charters.

The first airlines


American aviation pioneers, such as Rufus Porter
Rufus Porter
For the American football player see Rufus Porter .For the American poet see Rufus L. Porter.Rufus M. Porter was an American painter, inventor, and founder of Scientific American magazine....

 and Frederick Marriott
Frederick Marriott
Frederick Marriott was an early aviation pioneer and creator of the Avitor Hermes Jr. which was the first unmanned aircraft to fly under its own power in the United States...

, attempted to start airlines using airship
Airship
An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or "lighter-than-air aircraft" that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or other thrust mechanisms...

s in the mid-19th century, focusing on the New York–California route. Those attempts floundered due to such mishaps as the airships catching fire and the aircraft being ripped apart by spectators. DELAG
DELAG
DELAG, an acronym from was the world's first airline to use an aircraft in revenue service. It was founded on November 16, 1909 with government assistance, and operated airships manufactured by Zeppelin Corporation...

, Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft was the world's first airline. It was founded on November 16, 1909 with government assistance, and operated airships manufactured by The Zeppelin Corporation
Zeppelin
A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century. It was based on designs he had outlined in 1874 and detailed in 1893. His plans were reviewed by committee in 1894 and patented in the United States on 14 March 1899...

. Its headquarters were in Frankfurt
Frankfurt
Frankfurt am Main , commonly known simply as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2010 population of 688,249. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010...

. The four oldest non-dirigible airlines that still exist are Netherlands' KLM, Colombia's Avianca
Avianca
Avianca S.A. is the flag carrier airline of Colombia since December 5, 1919 when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its hub at the El Dorado International Airport...

, Australia's Qantas
Qantas
Qantas Airways Limited is the flag carrier of Australia. The name was originally "QANTAS", an initialism for "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services". Nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo", the airline is based in Sydney, with its main hub at Sydney Airport...

, and the Czech Republic's Czech Airlines
Czech Airlines
Czech Airlines j.s.c. , trading as Czech Airlines , is the national airline of the Czech Republic and temporary in Slovakia with its head office on the grounds of Ruzyně Airport in Ruzyně, Prague...

. KLM first flew in May 1910, while Qantas (which stands for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited) was founded in Queensland, Australia, in late 1910.

Early development


Tony Jannus
Tony Jannus
Antony Habersack Jannus, more familiarly known as Tony Jannus , was an early American pilot whose aerial exploits were widely publicized in aviation's pre-World War I period. He flew the first airplane from which a parachute jump was made, in 1912. Jannus was also the first airline pilot, having...

 conducted the United States' first scheduled commercial airline flight on 1 January 1914 for the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line. The 23-minute flight traveled between St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It is known as a vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists. As of 2008, the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 245,314, making St...

 and Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

, passing some 50 feet (15.2 m) above Tampa Bay in Jannus' Benoist XIV
Benoist XIV
-References:* * * * Servis, Richard. "". Non Fiction Reader Magazine* from St Petersburg Museum of History executive director Will Michaels printed in the St Petersburg Times 2 February 2004.* -External links:* *...

 biplane flying boat. Chalk's International Airlines began service between Miami and Bimini in the Bahamas in February 1919. Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Chalk's claimed to be the oldest continuously operating airline in the United States until its closure in 2008.

Following World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the United States found itself swamped with aviators. Many decided to take their war-surplus aircraft on barnstorming campaigns, performing aerobatic maneuvers to woo crowds. In 1918, the United States Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 won the financial backing of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 to begin experimenting with air mail service, initially using Curtiss Jenny aircraft that had been procured by the United States Army Air Service
United States Army Air Service
The Air Service, United States Army was a forerunner of the United States Air Force during and after World War I. It was established as an independent but temporary wartime branch of the War Department by two executive orders of President Woodrow Wilson: on May 24, 1918, replacing the Aviation...

. Private operators were the first to fly the mail but due to numerous accidents the US Army was tasked with mail delivery. During the course of the Army's involvement they proved to be too unreliable and lost their air mail duties. By the mid-1910s, the Postal Service
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is an independent agency of the United States government responsible for providing postal service in the United States...

 had developed its own air mail network, based on a transcontinental backbone between New York and San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

. To supplant this service, they offered twelve contracts for spur routes to independent bidders. Some of the carriers that won these routes would, through time and mergers, evolve into Pan Am, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

, Braniff Airways, American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

, United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 (originally a division of Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

), Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines was an American airline that existed from 1925 until it was bought out by and merged with American Airlines in 2001. It was a major domestic airline in the United States and the main U.S.-based competitor of Pan American World Airways on intercontinental routes from 1946...

, Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

, and Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines was a major United States airline that existed from 1926 to 1991. Before its dissolution it was headquartered at Miami International Airport in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.-History:...

.

Service during the early 1919s was sporadic: most airlines at the time were focused on carrying bags of mail. In 1925, however, the Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. In addition to the Ford and Lincoln brands, Ford also owns a small stake in Mazda in Japan and Aston Martin in the UK...

 bought out the Stout Aircraft Company
William Bushnell Stout
William Bushnell Stout was an inventor, designer whose work in automotive and aviation fields was notable. Stout designed an aircraft that eventually became the Ford Trimotor and was an executive at the Ford Motor Company.-Early years:William Bushnell Stout was born March 16, 1880 in Quincy,...

 and began construction of the all-metal Ford Trimotor
Ford Trimotor
The Ford Trimotor was an American three-engined transport plane that was first produced in 1925 by the companies of Henry Ford and that continued to be produced until June 7, 1933. Throughout its time in production, a total of 199 Ford Trimotors were produced...

, which became the first successful American airliner. With a 12-passenger capacity, the Trimotor made passenger service potentially profitable. Air service was seen as a supplement to rail
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 service in the American transportation network.

At the same time, Juan Trippe
Juan Trippe
Juan Terry Trippe was an American airline entrepreneur and pioneer, and the founder of Pan American World Airways, one of the world's most prominent airlines of the twentieth century.-Early years:...

 began a crusade to create an air network that would link America to the world, and he achieved this goal through his airline, Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991...

, with a fleet of flying boats that linked Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

 to Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

 and Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Pan Am and Northwest Airways (which began flights to Canada in the 1919s) were the only U.S. airlines to go international before the 1940s.

With the introduction of the Boeing 247
Boeing 247
The Boeing Model 247 was an early United States airliner, considered the first such aircraft to fully incorporate advances such as all-metal semi-monocoque construction, a fully cantilevered wing and retractable landing gear...

 and Douglas DC-3
Douglas DC-3
The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made...

 in the 1930s, the U.S. airline industry was generally profitable, even during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. This trend continued until the beginning of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Development since 1945


As governments met to set the standards and scope for an emergent civil air industry toward the end of the war, the U.S. took a position of maximum operating freedom; U.S. airline companies were not as hard-hit as European and the few Asian ones had been. This preference for "open skies" operating regimes continues, within limitations, to this day.

World War II, like World War I, brought new life to the airline industry. Many airlines in the Allied countries were flush from lease contracts to the military, and foresaw a future explosive demand for civil air transport, for both passengers and cargo. They were eager to invest in the newly emerging flagships of air travel such as the Boeing Stratocruiser, Lockheed Constellation
Lockheed Constellation
The Lockheed Constellation was a propeller-driven airliner powered by four 18-cylinder radial Wright R-3350 engines. It was built by Lockheed between 1943 and 1958 at its Burbank, California, USA, facility. A total of 856 aircraft were produced in numerous models, all distinguished by a...

, and Douglas DC-6
Douglas DC-6
The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner and transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1958. Originally intended as a military transport near the end of World War II, it was reworked after the war to compete with the Lockheed Constellation in the long-range...

. Most of these new aircraft were based on American bombers such as the B-29, which had spearheaded research into new technologies such as pressurization
Pressurization
Pressurization is the application of pressure in a given situation or environment; and more specifically refers to the process by which atmospheric pressure is maintained in an isolated or semi-isolated atmospheric environment .-See also:* Cabin pressurization* Compressed air* Decompression* Gas...

. Most offered increased efficiency from both added speed and greater payload.

In the 1950s, the De Havilland Comet
De Havilland Comet
The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world's first commercial jet airliner to reach production. Developed and manufactured by de Havilland at the Hatfield, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom headquarters, it first flew in 1949 and was a landmark in aeronautical design...

, Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

, Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

, and Sud Aviation Caravelle
Sud Aviation Caravelle
The Sud Aviation SE 210 Caravelle was the first short/medium-range jet airliner produced by the French Sud Aviation firm starting in 1955 . The Caravelle was one of the more successful European first generation jetliners, selling throughout Europe and even penetrating the United States market, with...

 became the first flagships of the Jet Age in the West, while the Eastern bloc had Tupolev Tu-104
Tupolev Tu-104
The Tupolev Tu-104 was a twin-engined medium-range turbojet-powered Soviet airliner and the world's first successful jet airliner...

 and Tupolev Tu-124
Tupolev Tu-124
The Tupolev Tu-124 was a 56 passenger short range twinjet airliner built in the Soviet Union. It was the world's first turbofan-powered airliner.- Design and development :...

 in the fleets of state-owned carriers such as Czechoslovak ČSA
Czech Airlines
Czech Airlines j.s.c. , trading as Czech Airlines , is the national airline of the Czech Republic and temporary in Slovakia with its head office on the grounds of Ruzyně Airport in Ruzyně, Prague...

, Soviet Aeroflot
Aeroflot
OJSC AeroflotRussian Airlines , commonly known as Aeroflot , is the flag carrier and largest airline of the Russian Federation, based on passengers carried per year...

 and East-German Interflug
Interflug
Interflug was the state airline of East Germany from 1963 to 1991, when it ceased operations following German reunification...

. The Vickers Viscount
Vickers Viscount
The Vickers Viscount was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs, making it the first such aircraft to enter service in the world...

 and Lockheed L-188 Electra
Lockheed L-188 Electra
The Lockheed Model 188 Electra is an American turboprop airliner built by Lockheed. First flying in 1957, it was the first large turboprop airliner produced in the United States. Initial sales were good, but after two fatal crashes which prompted an expensive modification program to fix a design...

 inaugurated turboprop transport.

The next big boost for the airlines would come in the 1970s, when the Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

, McDonnell Douglas DC-10
McDonnell Douglas DC-10
The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 is a three-engine widebody jet airliner manufactured by McDonnell Douglas. The DC-10 has range for medium- to long-haul flights, capable of carrying a maximum 380 passengers. Its most distinguishing feature is the two turbofan engines mounted on underwing pylons and a...

, and Lockheed L-1011
Lockheed L-1011
The Lockheed L-1011 TriStar, commonly referred to as the L-1011 or TriStar, is a medium-to-long range, widebody passenger trijet airliner. It was the third widebody airliner to enter commercial operations, following the Boeing 747 and the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Between 1968 and 1984, Lockheed...

 inaugurated widebody ("jumbo jet") service, which is still the standard in international travel. The Tupolev Tu-144
Tupolev Tu-144
The Tupolev Tu-144 was a Soviet supersonic transport aircraft and remains one of only two SSTs to enter commercial service, the other being the Concorde...

 and its Western counterpart, Concorde
Concorde
Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner, a supersonic transport . It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty, combining the manufacturing efforts of Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation...

, made supersonic travel a reality. Concorde first flew in 1969 and operated through 2003. In 1972, Airbus
Airbus
Airbus SAS is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in Blagnac, France, surburb of Toulouse, and with significant activity across Europe, the company produces around half of the world's jet airliners....

 began producing Europe's most commercially successful line of airliners to date. The added efficiencies for these aircraft were often not in speed, but in passenger capacity, payload, and range. Airbus also features modern electronic cockpits that were common across their aircraft to enable pilots to fly multiple models with minimal cross-training.

Travel Concepts, Inc., founded by William J. Tobin
William J. Tobin
William J. Tobin is an American entrepreneur, inventor, and business owner known for founding ten different startups since 1968, and securing 15 different patents for products and software. Among the companies he founded and served as CEO and Director of Marketing are PC Flowers, Inc. from 1988,...

 in 1971, developed the first travel kits to be distributed in First Class
First class
The term First class generally implies a high level of service, importance or quality. Specific uses of the term include:-Sports:* First-class cricket...

 and Business Class
Business class
Business class is a travel class available on many commercial airlines and rail lines, known by brand names which vary by airline or rail company. In the airline industry, it was originally intended as an intermediate level of service between economy class and first class, but many airlines now...

 cabins, and also provided in-flight educational games for children. The travel kits and the educational game programs have been utilized by most major airlines for 25 years.

1978's U.S. airline industry deregulation
Airline Deregulation Act
The Airline Deregulation Act is a United States federal law signed into law on October 24, 1978. The main purpose of the act was to remove government control over fares, routes and market entry from commercial aviation...

 lowered barriers for new airlines just as a downturn occurred. New start-ups entered during the downturn, during which time they found aircraft and funding, contracted hangar and maintenance services, trained new employees, and recruited laid off staff from other airlines.

As the business cycle returned to normalcy, major airlines dominated their routes through aggressive pricing and additional capacity offerings, often swamping new startups. Only America West Airlines
America West Airlines
America West Airlines corporate offices were in Tempe, Arizona and the main hub was at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The airline became part of the US Airways Group after a merger in 2005....

 (which has since merged with US Airways) remained a significant survivor from this new entrant era, as dozens, even hundreds, have gone under.

In many ways, the biggest winner in the deregulated environment was the air passenger. Indeed, the U.S. witnessed an explosive growth in demand for air travel, as many millions who had never or rarely flown before became regular fliers, even joining frequent flyer loyalty programs and receiving free flights and other benefits from their flying. New services and higher frequencies meant that business fliers could fly to another city, do business, and return the same day, for almost any point in the country. Air travel's advantages put intercity bus lines under pressure, and most have withered away.

By the 1980s, almost half of the total flying in the world took place in the U.S., and today the domestic industry operates over 10,000 daily departures nationwide.

Toward the end of the century, a new style of low cost airline
Low-cost carrier
A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

 emerged, offering a no-frills product at a lower price. Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

, JetBlue, AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of the Dallas, Texas-based Southwest Airlines, is an American low-cost airline headquartered in Orlando, Florida. AirTran operates over 650 daily flights , primarily in the eastern and midwestern United States...

, Skybus Airlines
Skybus Airlines
Skybus Airlines Inc. was a privately held airline based in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It operated as an ultra-low-cost carrier modeled after the European airline Ryanair, and aimed to be the least expensive airline in the United States...

 and other low-cost carriers began to represent a serious challenge to the so-called "legacy airlines", as did their low-cost counterparts in many other countries. Their commercial viability represented a serious competitive threat to the legacy carriers. However, of these, ATA
ATA Airlines
ATA Airlines, Inc., formerly known as American Trans Air, was an American low-cost scheduled service and charter airline based in Indianapolis, Indiana. ATA operated scheduled passenger flights throughout the US mainland and Hawaii, as well as military and commercial charter flights around the world...

 and Skybus have since ceased operations.

Increasingly since 1978, US airlines have been reincorporated and spun off
Off spin
Off spin is a type of bowling in the sport of cricket which is bowled by an off spinner, a right-handed spin bowler who uses his or her fingers and/or wrist to spin the ball from a right-handed batsman's off side to the leg side...

 by newly created and interally led manangement companies, and thus becoming nothing more than operating units and subsidiaries with limited financially decisive control. Among some of these holding companies
Holding company
A holding company is a company or firm that owns other companies' outstanding stock. It usually refers to a company which does not produce goods or services itself; rather, its purpose is to own shares of other companies. Holding companies allow the reduction of risk for the owners and can allow...

 and parent companies
Parent company
A parent company is a company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations by influencing or electing its board of directors; the second company being deemed as a subsidiary of the parent company...

 that are the relatively well known, are the UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation
UAL Corporation is the former name of United Continental Holdings an airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. UAL held a 100 percent controlling interest in United Air Lines, Inc., one of the world's largest air carriers, and is a founding member of...

, along with the AMR Corporation, among a long list of airline holding companies sometime recognized world wide. Less recognized are the private equity firm
Private equity firm
A private equity firm is an investment manager that makes investments in the private equity of operating companies through a variety of loosely affiliated investment strategies including leveraged buyout, venture capital, and growth capital...

s which often seize managerial, financial, and board of directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

 control of distressed airline companies by temporarily investing large sums of capital
Equity (finance)
In accounting and finance, equity is the residual claim or interest of the most junior class of investors in assets, after all liabilities are paid. If liability exceeds assets, negative equity exists...

 in air carriers, so as to rescheme an airlines assets into a profitable organization or liquidating an air carrier of their profitable and worthwhile routes and business operations.

Thus the last 50 years of the airline industry have varied from reasonably profitable, to devastatingly depressed. As the first major market to deregulate the industry in 1978, U.S. airlines have experienced more turbulence than almost any other country or region. As of yesterday, American Airlines is the only U.S. legacy carrier
Legacy carrier
A legacy carrier, in the United States, is an airline that had established interstate routes by the time of the route liberalization which was permitted by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and was thus directly affected by that act...

 to survive bankruptcy-free.

The Airline Industry Bailout


Congress passed the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act (P.L. 107-42) in response to a severe liquidity crisis facing the already-troubled airline industry in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Congress sought to provide cash infusions to carriers for both the cost of the four-day federal shutdown of the airlines and the incremental losses incurred through December 31, 2001 as a result of the terrorist attacks. This resulted in the first government bailout of the 21st century. Between 2000 and 2005 US airlines lost $30 billion with wage cuts of over $15 billion and 100,000 employees laid off.

In recognition of the essential national economic role of a healthy aviation system, Congress authorized partial compensation of up to $5 billion in cash subject to review by the Department of Transportation
Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is the most common name for a government agency in North America devoted to transportation. The largest is the United States Department of Transportation, which oversees interstate travel. All U.S. states, Canadian provinces, and many local agencies also have...

 and up to $10 billion in loan guarantees subject to review by a newly created Air Transportation Stabilization Board
Air Transportation Stabilization Board
The Air Transportation Stabilization Board is an office of United States Department of the Treasury created to assist US airlines in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks....

 (ATSB). The applications to DOT for reimbursements were subjected to rigorous multi-year reviews not only by DOT program personnel but also by the Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress. It is located in the legislative branch of the United States government.-History:...

  and the DOT Inspector General.

Ultimately, the federal government provided $4.6 billion in one-time, subject-to-income-tax cash payments to 427 U.S. air carriers, with no provision for repayment, essentially a gift from the taxpayers. (Passenger carriers operating scheduled service received approximately $4 billion, subject to tax.) In addition, the ATSB approved loan guarantees to six airlines totaling approximately $1.6 billion. Data from the US Treasury Department show that the government recouped the $1.6 billion and a profit of $339 million from the fees, interest and purchase of discounted airline stock associated with loan guarantees.

European airline industry


The first countries in Europe to embrace air transport were Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

.

Austria initiated the first regularly scheduled airmail service on March 31, 1918 in the midst of World War I. The route provided airmail service spanning Vienna to Kraków (now in Poland) to Lviv (now in Ukraine), as was often also extended to Kiev and Odessa.

KLM, the oldest carrier still operating under its original name, was founded in 1909. The first flight (operated on behalf of KLM by Aircraft Transport and Travel
Aircraft Transport and Travel
Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited was a British airline formed during the First World War, a subsidiary of Airco. It was the first airline to operate a regular international flight .-History:...

) transported two English passengers to Schiphol, Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 from London in 1910. Like other major European airlines of the time (see France and the UK below), KLM's early growth depended heavily on the needs to service links with far-flung colonial possessions (Dutch Indies). It is only after the loss of the Dutch Empire
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

 that KLM found itself based at a small country with few potential passengers, depending heavily on transfer traffic, and was one of the first to introduce the hub-system to facilitate easy connections.

France began an air mail service to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 in 1919 that was bought out in 1927, renamed Aéropostale
Aéropostale (aviation)
Aéropostale was a pioneering aviation company. It was founded in 1918 in Toulouse, France, as Société des lignes Latécoère, also known as Lignes Aeriennes Latécoère or simply "The Line" .- History :Aéropostale founder Pierre-Georges Latécoère envisioned an air route connecting France to the...

, and injected with capital to become a major international carrier. In 1933, Aéropostale went bankrupt
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

, was nationalized and merged with several other airlines into what became Air France
Air France
Air France , stylised as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France, , and is one of the world's largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance...

.

In Finland, the charter establishing Aero O/Y (now Finnair
Finnair
Finnair Plc is the flag carrier and largest airline of Finland, with its headquarters on the grounds of Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland, and its main hub at Helsinki Airport. Finnair and its subsidiaries dominate both the domestic and international air travel markets in Finland. The largest...

) was signed in the city of Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

 on September 12, 1913. became the first aircraft of the company, when Aero took delivery of it on March 14, 1914. The first flight was between Helsinki and Tallinn
Tallinn
Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It occupies an area of with a population of 414,940. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the banks of the Gulf of Finland, south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is in the list...

, capital of Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, and it took place on March 20, 1914, one week later.

Germany's Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa
Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G. was a German airline, serving as flag carrier of the country during the later years of the Weimar Republic and throughout the Third Reich.-1920s:Deutsche Luft Hansa was founded on 6 January 1926 in Berlin...

 was created in 1916 by merger of two airlines, one of them Junkers Luftverkehr. Luft Hansa, due to the Junkers
Hugo Junkers
Hugo Junkers was an innovative German engineer, as his many patents in varied areas show...

 heritage and unlike most other airlines at the time, became a major investor in airlines outside of Europe, providing capital to Varig
Varig
VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline...

 and Avianca. German airliners built by Junkers, Dornier, and Fokker
Fokker
Fokker was a Dutch aircraft manufacturer named after its founder, Anthony Fokker. The company operated under several different names, starting out in 1912 in Schwerin, Germany, moving to the Netherlands in 1919....

 were among the most advanced in the world at the time. In 1931, the airship Graf Zeppelin
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin was a German built and operated passenger-carrying hydrogen-filled rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a Graf or Count in the German nobility. During its operating life,...

 began offering regular scheduled passenger service between Germany and South America, usually every two weeks, which continued until 1937. In 1936, the airship Hindenburg
LZ 129 Hindenburg
LZ 129 Hindenburg was a large German commercial passenger-carrying rigid airship, the lead ship of the Hindenburg class, the longest class of flying machine and the largest airship by envelope volume...

 entered passenger service and successfully crossed the Atlantic 36 times before crashing at Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937.

The British company Aircraft Transport and Travel commenced a London to Paris service on August 25, 1919, this was the world's first regular international flight. The United Kingdom's flag carrier
Flag carrier
A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given country, enjoys preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations. It may be a state-run, state-owned or private but...

 during this period was Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but especially the Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East...

, which became BOAC
Boac
Boac may refer to:* Boac, Marinduque, a municipality in the Southern Philippines* Boac , an American rapper* British Overseas Airways Corporation, a former British state-owned airline...

 (British Overseas Airways Co.) in 1939. Imperial Airways used huge Handley-Page biplane
Biplane
A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two superimposed main wings. The Wright brothers' Wright Flyer used a biplane design, as did most aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage, it produces more drag than a similar monoplane wing...

s for routes between London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, and India: images of Imperial aircraft in the middle of the Rub'al Khali, being maintained by Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

s, are among the most famous pictures from the heyday of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

.

In Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 the Chief Administration of the Civil Air Fleet was established in 1911. One of its first acts was to help found Deutsch-Russische Luftverkehrs A.G. (Deruluft), a German-Russian joint venture to provide air transport from Russia to the West. Domestic air service began around the same time, when Dobrolyot started operations on 15 July 1913 between Moscow and Nizhni Novgorod. Since 1922 all operations had been carried under the name Aeroflot. By the end of the 1920s Aeroflot had become the world's largest airline, employing more than 4,000 pilots and 60,000 other service personnel and operating around 3,000 aircraft (of which 75% were considered obsolete by its own standards). During the Soviet era Aeroflot was synonymous with Russian civil aviation, as it was the only air carrier. It became the first airline in the world to operate sustained regular jet services on 15 September 1956 with the Tupolev Tu-104
Tupolev Tu-104
The Tupolev Tu-104 was a twin-engined medium-range turbojet-powered Soviet airliner and the world's first successful jet airliner...

.

Deregulation


Deregulation of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 airspace in the early 1990s has had substantial effect on structure of the industry there. The shift towards 'budget' airlines on shorter routes has been significant. Airlines such as EasyJet
EasyJet
EasyJet Airline Company Limited is a British airline headquartered at London Luton Airport. It carries more passengers than any other United Kingdom-based airline, operating domestic and international scheduled services on 500 routes between 118 European, North African, and West Asian airports...

 and Ryanair
Ryanair
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline. Its head office is at Dublin Airport and its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airport....

 have grown at the expense of the traditional national airlines.

There has also been a trend for these national airlines themselves to be privatised such as has occurred for Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus
Aer Lingus Group Plc is the flag carrier of Ireland. It operates a fleet of Airbus aircraft serving Europe and North America. It is Ireland's oldest extant airline, and its second largest after low-cost rival Ryanair...

 and British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

. Other national airlines, including Italy's Alitalia
Alitalia
Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. , in its later stages known as Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane S.p.A. in Extraordinary Administration, was the former Italian flag carrier...

, have suffered - particularly with the rapid increase of oil prices in early 2008.

Asian airline industry


Although Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines, Inc. operating as Philippine Airlines, is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered in the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name...

 (PAL) was officially founded on February 26, 1911, its license to operate as an airliner was derived from merged Philippine Aerial Taxi Company (PATCO) established by mining magnate Emmanuel N. Bachrach on December 3, 1910, making it Asia's oldest scheduled carrier still in operation. Commercial air service commenced three weeks later from Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 to Baguio, making it Asia's first airline route. Bachrach's death in 1917 paved the way for its eventual merger with Philippine Airlines in March 1911 and made it Asia's oldest airline. It is also the oldest airline in Asia still operating under its current name. Bachrach's majority share in PATCO was bought by beer magnate Andres R. Soriano in 1909 upon the advice of General Douglas McArthur and later merged with newly formed Philippine Airlines with PAL as the surviving entity. Soriano has controlling interest in both airlines before the merger. PAL restarted service on March 15, 1911 with a single NPC-54 airship, which started its daily services between Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 (from Nielson Field
Nielson Field
Nielson Field was the location of the Far East Air Force headquarters. Most of the aircraft of the FEAF were based at either Clark Field or Nichols Field.- Laurie Reuben Nielson :...

) and Baguio, later to expand with larger aircraft such as the DC-3 and Vickers Viscount.

India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 was also one of the first countries to embrace civil aviation. One of the first West Asian airline companies was Air India
Air India
Air India is the flag carrier airline of India. It is part of the government of India owned Air India Limited . The airline operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. Its corporate office is located at the Air India Building at Nariman...

, which had its beginning as Tata Airlines
Tata Airlines
Tata Airlines, a division of Tata Sons Ltd. was founded by J. R. D. Tata in 1932 as Tata Sons.It was started as a mail service between Karachi, Bombay and Madras.-The beginning:...

 in 1932, a division of Tata Sons Ltd. (now Tata Group
Tata Group
Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Tata Group is one of the largest companies in India by market capitalization and revenue. It has interests in communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy,...

). The airline was founded by India's leading industrialist, JRD Tata. On October 15, 1932, J. R. D. Tata himself flew a single engined carrying air mail (postal mail of Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways
Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company, operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but especially the Empire routes to South Africa, India and the Far East...

) from Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 to Bombay
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 via Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

. The aircraft continued to Madras via Bellary piloted by Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 pilot Nevill Vintcent
Nevill Vintcent
Nevill Vintcent, O.B.E., D.F.C. was a South African aviator and airline founder.He was the son of Charles Vintcent, a South African cricketer....

 . Tata Airlines was also one of the world's first major airlines which began its operations without any support from the Government.

With the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the airline presence in Asia came to a relative halt, with many new flag carriers donating their aircraft for military aid and other uses. Following the end of the war in 1945, regular commercial service was restored in India and Tata Airlines became a public limited company on July 29, 1946 under the name Air India. After the independence of India, 49% of the airline was acquired by the Government of India
Government of India
The Government of India, officially known as the Union Government, and also known as the Central Government, was established by the Constitution of India, and is the governing authority of the union of 28 states and seven union territories, collectively called the Republic of India...

. In return, the airline was granted status to operate international services from India as the designated flag carrier under the name Air India International.

On July 31, 1946, a chartered Philippine Airlines (PAL) DC-4 ferried 40 American servicemen to Oakland, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 from Nielson Airport in Makati City
Makati City
The City of Makati is one of the 17 cities that make up Metro Manila, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Makati is the financial center of the Philippines and one of the major financial, commercial and economic hubs in Asia...

 with stops in Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

, Wake Island
Wake Island
Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of in the North Pacific Ocean, located about two-thirds of the way from Honolulu west to Guam east. It is an unorganized, unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior...

, Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll
Johnston Atoll is a atoll in the North Pacific Ocean about west of Hawaii. There are four islands located on the coral reef platform, two natural islands, Johnston Island and Sand Island, which have been expanded by coral dredging, as well as North Island and East Island , an additional two...

 and Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, making PAL the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. A regular service between Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 and San Francisco was started in December. It was during this year that the airline was designated as the flag carrier of Philippines.

During the era of decolonization
Decolonization
Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

, newly-born Asian countries started to embrace air transport. Among the first Asian carriers during the era were Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific
Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong, with its head office and main hub located at Hong Kong International Airport, although the airline's registered office is on the 33rd floor of One Pacific Place...

 of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 (founded in September 1916), Orient Airways
Orient Airways
Orient Airways Ltd. was an airline established in 1946 with a base in Calcutta, India. It was the first and only Muslim owned airline in pre-partition India.-History:...

 (later Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation commonly known as PIA, is the flag carrier airline of Pakistan. The airline has its head office on the grounds of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. and operates scheduled services to 24 domestic destinations and 38 international destinations in 27...

; founded in October 1916), Malayan Airlines (later Singapore
Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines Limited is the flag carrier airline of Singapore. Singapore Airlines operates a hub at Changi Airport and has a strong presence in the Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and "Kangaroo Route" markets...

 and Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airlines
Malaysian Airline System Berhad , DBA Malaysia Airlines , is the government-owned flag carrier of Malaysia. Malaysia Airlines operates flights from its home base, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and its eastern hub in Kota Kinabalu. It has its headquarters on the grounds of Sultan Abdul Aziz...

; founded in 1917), El Al
El Al
El Al Israel Airlines Ltd , trading as El Al , is the flag carrier of Israel. It operates scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights to Europe, North America, Africa and the Far East from its main base in Ben Gurion International Airport...

 in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 in 1918, Garuda Indonesia
Garuda Indonesia
PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk , publicly known as Garuda Indonesia, is the flag carrier of Indonesia. It is named after the mystical giant bird Garuda of Hinduism and Buddhist mythology. It is headquartered at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, near Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia...

 in 1909, Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

 in 1911,Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited is the national flag carrier and largest airline of Thailand. Formed in 1988, the airline's headquarters are located in Chatuchak District, Bangkok, and operates out of Suvarnabhumi Airport. Thai is a founding member of the Star Alliance. Thai is a...

 in 1910, and Korean Air
Korean Air
Korean Air Lines Co., Ltd. , operating as Korean Air, is both the flag carrier and the largest airline of South Korea, with global headquarters located in Seoul, South Korea. Korean Air's international passenger division and related subsidiary cargo division together serve 130 cities in 45...

 in 1912.

Latin American airline industry


Among the first countries to have regular airlines in Latin America were Bolivia with Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano
Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano S.A. was an airline serving as flag carrier of Bolivia. It operated domestic and international flights, aiming at passenger as well as cargo transport. LAB was active for more than 80 years, having been based in Cochabamba most of the time, with Cochabamba Airport being an...

, Cuba with Cubana de Aviación
Cubana de Aviación
Cubana de Aviación S.A., commonly known as Cubana, is Cuba's largest airline and flag carrier. The airline was founded on 8 October 1929, and has its corporate headquarters in Havana. Its main base is at José Martí International Airport...

, Colombia with Avianca
Avianca
Avianca S.A. is the flag carrier airline of Colombia since December 5, 1919 when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its hub at the El Dorado International Airport...

, Brazil with Varig
Varig
VARIG was the first airline founded in Brazil, in 1927. From 1965 until 1990 it was Brazil's leading and almost only international airline...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 with LAN Chile (today LAN Airlines
LAN Airlines
LAN Airlines S.A. is an airline based in Santiago, Chile. LAN is currently positioned amongst the largest airlines in Latin America, serving Latin America, United States, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Europe. It is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance...

), Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 with Dominicana de Aviación
Dominicana de Aviación
Compañía Dominicana de Aviación, usually shortened to Dominicana, was an airline from the Dominican Republic, serving as flag carrier of the country.-History:...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 with Aeropostal, Mexico with Mexicana de Aviación
Mexicana de Aviación
Founded in 1921, Compañía Mexicana de Aviación, S.A. de C.V. was Mexico's oldest airline, before ceasing operations on August 28, 2010. The group's closure was announced by the company's recently installed management team a short time after the group filed for Concurso Mercantil and US Chapter 15...

, and TACA
Grupo TACA
TACA is the trade name "brand" comprising a group of five independently IATA-coded and -owned Central American airlines, whose operations are combined to function as one and a number of other independently owned and IATA-coded regional airlines which code-share and feed the TACA brand system...

 as a brand of several airlines of Central American countries (Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua). All the previous airlines started regular operations before World War I.

The air travel market has evolved rapidly over recent years in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. Some industry estimations over 2000 new aircraft will begin service over the next five years in this region.

These airlines serve domestic flights within their countries, as well as connections within Latin America and also overseas flights to North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Just three airlines: LAN (Latin American Networks), Oceanair and TAM Airlines have international subsidiaries with Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

 as the central operation along with Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 and some operations in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 and TAM with TAM Mercosur have a base in Asuncion
Asunción
Asunción is the capital and largest city of Paraguay.The "Ciudad de Asunción" is an autonomous capital district not part of any department. The metropolitan area, called Gran Asunción, includes the cities of San Lorenzo, Fernando de la Mora, Lambaré, Luque, Mariano Roque Alonso, Ñemby, San...

, Paraguay
Paraguay
Paraguay , officially the Republic of Paraguay , is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the...

. Avianca
Avianca
Avianca S.A. is the flag carrier airline of Colombia since December 5, 1919 when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA. It is headquartered in Bogotá, D.C. with its hub at the El Dorado International Airport...

 have the control of Oceanair, VIP Airlines and also have an estrategic alliance with TACA.

National


Many countries have national airlines that the government owns and operates. Fully private airlines are subject to a great deal of government regulation for economic, political, and safety concerns. For instance, governments often intervene to halt airline labor actions in order to protect the free flow of people, communications, and goods between different regions without compromising safety.

The United States, Australia, and to a lesser extent Brazil, Mexico, India, the United Kingdom and Japan have "deregulated" their airlines. In the past, these governments dictated airfares, route networks, and other operational requirements for each airline. Since deregulation, airlines have been largely free to negotiate their own operating arrangements with different airports, enter and exit routes easily, and to levy airfares and supply flights according to market demand.

The entry barriers for new airlines are lower in a deregulated market, and so the U.S. has seen hundreds of airlines start up (sometimes for only a brief operating period). This has produced far greater competition than before deregulation in most markets, and average fares tend to drop 20% or more. The added competition, together with pricing freedom, means that new entrants often take market share with highly reduced rates that, to a limited degree, full service airlines must match. This is a major constraint on profitability for established carriers, which tend to have a higher cost base.

As a result, profitability in a deregulated market is uneven for most airlines. These forces have caused some major airlines to go out of business, in addition to most of the poorly established new entrants.

International


Groups such as the International Civil Aviation Organization
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

 establish worldwide standards for safety and other vital concerns. Most international air traffic is regulated by bilateral agreements between countries, which designate specific carriers to operate on specific routes. The model of such an agreement was the Bermuda Agreement
Bermuda Agreement
The Bermuda Agreement, reached in 1946 by American and British negotiators in Bermuda, was an early bilateral air transport agreement regulating civil air transport...

 between the US and UK following World War II, which designated airports to be used for transatlantic flights and gave each government the authority to nominate carriers to operate routes.

Bilateral agreements are based on the "freedoms of the air
Freedoms of the air
The freedoms of the air are a set of commercial aviation rights granting a country's airline the privilege to enter and land in another country's airspace...

", a group of generalized traffic rights ranging from the freedom to overfly a country to the freedom to provide domestic flights within a country (a very rarely granted right known as cabotage
Cabotage
Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country by a vessel or an aircraft registered in another country. Originally starting with shipping, cabotage now also covers aviation, railways and road transport...

). Most agreements permit airlines to fly from their home country to designated airports in the other country: some also extend the freedom to provide continuing service to a third country, or to another destination in the other country while carrying passengers from overseas.

In the 1990s, "open skies
Open skies
Open skies is an international policy concept which calls for the liberalization of rules and regulations on international aviation industry most specially commercial aviation - opening a free market for the airline industry...

" agreements became more common. These agreements take many of these regulatory powers from state governments and open up international routes to further competition. Open skies agreements have met some criticism, particularly within the European Union, whose airlines would be at a comparative disadvantage with the United States' because of cabotage
Cabotage
Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country by a vessel or an aircraft registered in another country. Originally starting with shipping, cabotage now also covers aviation, railways and road transport...

 restrictions.

Economic considerations


Historically, air travel has survived largely through state support, whether in the form of equity or subsidies. The airline industry as a whole has made a cumulative loss during its 100-year history, once the costs include subsidies for aircraft development and airport construction.

One argument is that positive externalities, such as higher growth due to global mobility, outweigh the microeconomic losses and justify continuing government intervention. A historically high level of government intervention in the airline industry can be seen as part of a wider political consensus on strategic forms of transport, such as highways and railways, both of which receive public funding in most parts of the world. Profitability is likely to improve in the future as privatization continues and more competitive low-cost carriers proliferate.

Although many countries continue to operate state-owned or parastatal airlines, many large airlines today are privately owned and are therefore governed by microeconomic principles in order to maximize shareholder profit.

Top Airline Groups by Revenue


for 2010, source : Airline Business August 2011, Flightglobal Data Research
Group Revenue ($B) operating result ($B) net result ($B)
Lufthansa
Lufthansa
Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the flag carrier of Germany and the largest airline in Europe in terms of overall passengers carried. The name of the company is derived from Luft , and Hansa .The airline is the world's fourth-largest airline in terms of overall passengers carried, operating...

 Group
36.1 1.76 1.49
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings
United Continental Holdings, Inc. , is a publicly traded airline holding company, incorporated in Delaware with headquarters in the United Building in Chicago, Illinois. UCH owns and operates United Airlines, Inc. and Continental Airlines, Inc. both of which use the trade name United Airlines...

 
34.0 1.82 0.85
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

31.8 2.22 0.59
Air France-KLM
Air France-KLM
Air France-KLM is a European airline holding company incorporated under French law with its headquarters at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Tremblay-en-France, Paris...

 Group
31.3 0.16 0.81
FedEx Express  24.6 1.23
AMR Corporation  22.2 0.31 -0.41
International Airlines Group
International Airlines Group
International Airlines Group is a multinational airline holding company headquartered in London, United Kingdom and with its registered office in Madrid, Spain...

 (British Airways/Iberia)
19.5 0.30 0.13
Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines
is an airline headquartered in Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan. It is the flag carrier of Japan and its main hubs are Tokyo's Narita International Airport and Tokyo International Airport , as well as Nagoya's Chūbu Centrair International Airport and Osaka's Kansai International Airport...

 Corporation
16.0 2.22
All Nippon Airways
All Nippon Airways
, also known as or ANA, is one of the largest airlines in Japan. It is headquartered at the Shiodome City Center in the Shiodome area in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It operates services to 49 destinations in Japan and 35 international routes and employed over 14,000 employees as of May 2009...

 Group
16.0 0.80 0.27
The Emirates Group
The Emirates Group
The Emirates Group is a public international travel and tourism conglomerate holding company headquartered in Garhoud, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, by Dubai International Airport. The Emirates Group comprises Dnata, an aviation services company providing ground handling services at 17 airports and...

 
14.8 1.48 1.46

Ticket revenue


Airlines assign prices to their services in an attempt to maximize profitability. The pricing of airline tickets has become increasingly complicated over the years and is now largely determined by computerized yield management
Yield management
Revenue management is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing consumer behavior in order to maximize yield or profits from a fixed, perishable resource...

 systems.

Because of the complications in scheduling flights and maintaining profitability, airlines have many loopholes that can be used by the knowledgeable traveler. Many of these airfare secrets are becoming more and more known to the general public, so airlines are forced to make constant adjustments.

Most airlines use differentiated pricing, a form of price discrimination
Price discrimination
Price discrimination or price differentiation exists when sales of identical goods or services are transacted at different prices from the same provider...

, in order to sell air services at varying prices simultaneously to different segments. Factors influencing the price include the days remaining until departure, the booked load factor, the forecast of total demand by price point, competitive pricing in force, and variations by day of week of departure and by time of day. Carriers often accomplish this by dividing each cabin of the aircraft (first, business and economy) into a number of travel class
Travel class
A travel class is a quality of accommodation on public transport. The accommodation could be a seat or a cabin for example. Higher travel classes are more comfortable and more expensive.-Airline booking codes:...

es for pricing purposes.

A complicating factor is that of origin-destination control ("O&D control"). Someone purchasing a ticket from Melbourne to Sydney (as an example) for AU$200 is competing with someone else who wants to fly Melbourne to Los Angeles through Sydney on the same flight, and who is willing to pay AU$1400. Should the airline prefer the $1400 passenger, or the $200 passenger plus a possible Sydney-Los Angeles passenger willing to pay $1300? Airlines have to make hundreds of thousands of similar pricing decisions daily.
The advent of advanced computerized reservations systems in the late 1970s, most notably Sabre
Sabre (computer system)
Sabre Global Distribution System , owned by Sabre Holdings, is used by more than 55,000 travel agencies around the world with more than 400 airlines, 88,000 hotels, 24 car rental brands, and 13 cruise lines...

, allowed airlines to easily perform cost-benefit analyses
Cost-benefit analysis
Cost–benefit analysis , sometimes called benefit–cost analysis , is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project for two purposes: to determine if it is a sound investment , to see how it compares with alternate projects...

 on different pricing structures, leading to almost perfect price discrimination in some cases (that is, filling each seat on an aircraft at the highest price that can be charged without driving the consumer elsewhere).

The intense nature of airfare pricing has led to the term "fare war" to describe efforts by airlines to undercut other airlines on competitive routes. Through computers, new airfares can be published quickly and efficiently to the airlines' sales channels. For this purpose the airlines use the Airline Tariff Publishing Company
Airline Tariff Publishing Company
The Airline Tariff Publishing Company, ATPCO, or ATP, is a corporation that publishes the latest airfares for more than 500 airlines multiple times per day. Based at Washington Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C.,ATPCO also has offices in London,UK and Singapore...

 (ATPCO), who distribute latest fares for more than 500 airlines to Computer Reservation Systems across the world.

The extent of these pricing phenomena is strongest in "legacy" carriers. In contrast, low fare carriers usually offer preannounced and simplified price structure, and sometimes quote prices for each leg of a trip separately.

Computers also allow airlines to predict, with some accuracy, how many passengers will actually fly after making a reservation to fly. This allows airlines to overbook their flights enough to fill the aircraft while accounting for "no-shows," but not enough (in most cases) to force paying passengers off the aircraft for lack of seats. Since an average of ⅓ of all seats are flown empty, stimulative pricing for low demand flights coupled with overbooking on high demand flights can help reduce this figure. This is especially crucial during tough economic times as airlines undertake massive cuts to ticket prices in order to retain demand.

Operating costs


Full-service airlines have a high level of fixed and operating costs in order to establish and maintain air services: labor, fuel, airplanes, engines, spares and parts, IT services and networks, airport equipment, airport handling services, sales distribution, catering, training, aviation insurance
Aviation insurance
Aviation insurance is insurance coverage geared specifically to the operation of aircraft and the risks involved in aviation. Aviation insurance policies are distinctly different from those for other areas of transportation and tend to incorporate aviation terminology, as well as terminology,...

 and other costs. Thus all but a small percentage of the income from ticket sales is paid out to a wide variety of external providers or internal cost centers.

Moreover, the industry is structured so that airlines often act as tax collectors. Airline fuel is untaxed because of a series of treaties existing between countries. Ticket prices include a number of fees, taxes and surcharges beyond the control of airlines. Airlines are also responsible for enforcing government regulations. If airlines carry passengers without proper documentation on an international flight, they are responsible for returning them back to the original country.

Analysis of the 1992–1996 period shows that every player in the air transport chain is far more profitable than the airlines, who collect and pass through fees and revenues to them from ticket sales. While airlines as a whole earned 6% return on capital employed (2-3.5% less than the cost of capital), airports earned 10%, catering companies 10-13%, handling companies 11-14%, aircraft lessors 15%, aircraft manufacturers 16%, and global distribution companies more than 30%. (Source: Spinetta, 2000, quoted in Doganis, 2002)

The widespread entrance of a new breed of low cost airlines beginning at the turn of the century has accelerated the demand that full service carriers control costs. Many of these low cost companies emulate Southwest Airlines in various respects, and like Southwest, they are able to eke out a consistent profit throughout all phases of the business cycle.

As a result, a shakeout
Shakeout
Shakeout is a term used in business and economics to describe the consolidation of an industry or sector, in which businesses are eliminated or acquired through competition...

 of airlines is occurring in the U.S. and elsewhere. United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

, Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines
Continental Airlines was a major American airline now merged with United Airlines. On May 3, 2010, Continental Airlines, Inc. and UAL, Inc. announced a merger via a stock swap, and on October 1, 2010, the merger closed and UAL changed its name to United Continental Holdings, Inc...

 (twice), US Airways
US Airways
US Airways, Inc. is a major airline based in the U.S. city of Tempe, Arizona. The airline is an operating unit of US Airways Group and is the sixth largest airline by traffic and eighth largest by market value in the country....

 (twice), Delta Air Lines, and Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

 have all declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Some argue that it would be far better for the industry as a whole if a wave of actual closures were to reduce the number of "undead" airlines competing with healthy airlines while being artificially protected from creditors via bankruptcy
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 law. On the other hand, some have pointed out that the reduction in capacity would be short lived given that there would be large quantities of relatively new aircraft that bankruptcies would want to get rid of and would re-enter the market either as increased fleets for the survivors or the basis of cheap planes for new startups.

Where an airline has established an engineering base at an airport then there may be considerable economic advantages in using that same airport as a preferred focus (or "hub") for its scheduled flights.

Assets and financing


Airline financing is quite complex, since airlines are highly leveraged operations. Not only must they purchase (or lease) new airliner bodies and engines regularly, they must make major long-term fleet decisions with the goal of meeting the demands of their markets while producing a fleet that is relatively economical to operate and maintain. Compare Southwest Airlines and their reliance on a single airplane type (the Boeing 737
Boeing 737
The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range, twin-engine narrow-body jet airliner. Originally developed as a shorter, lower-cost twin-engine airliner derived from Boeing's 707 and 727, the 737 has developed into a family of nine passenger models with a capacity of 85 to 215 passengers...

 and derivatives), with the now defunct Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines was a major United States airline that existed from 1926 to 1991. Before its dissolution it was headquartered at Miami International Airport in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.-History:...

 which operated 17 different aircraft types, each with varying pilot, engine, maintenance, and support needs.

A second financial issue is that of hedging
Hedge (finance)
A hedge is an investment position intended to offset potential losses that may be incurred by a companion investment.A hedge can be constructed from many types of financial instruments, including stocks, exchange-traded funds, insurance, forward contracts, swaps, options, many types of...

 oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and fuel
Fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

 purchases, which are usually second only to labor in its relative cost to the company. However, with the current high fuel prices it has become the largest cost to an airline. Legacy airlines, compared with new entrants, have been hit harder by rising fuel prices partly due to the running of older, less fuel efficient aircraft. While hedging instruments can be expensive, they can easily pay for themselves many times over in periods of increasing fuel costs, such as in the 2000–2005 period.

In view of the congestion apparent at many international airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s, the ownership of slots at certain airports (the right to take-off or land an aircraft at a particular time of day or night) has become a significant tradable asset for many airlines. Clearly take-off slots at popular times of the day can be critical in attracting the more profitable business traveler to a given airline's flight and in establishing a competitive advantage against a competing airline.

If a particular city has two or more airports, market forces will tend to attract the less profitable routes, or those on which competition is weakest, to the less congested airport, where slots are likely to be more available and therefore cheaper. For example, Reagan National Airport attracts profitable routes due partly to its congestion, leaving less-profitable routes to Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Dulles International Airport.

Other factors, such as surface transport facilities and onward connections, will also affect the relative appeal of different airports and some long distance flights may need to operate from the one with the longest runway. For example, LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport is an airport located in the northern part of Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally...

 is the preferred airport for most of Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 due to its proximity, while long-distance routes must use John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

's longer runways. Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport , first named Newark Metropolitan Airport and later Newark International Airport, is an international airport within the city limits of both Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States...

 has the worst surface transport options to most of Manhattan, so most of its use is due to the connections offered by its dominant tenant carrier.

Airline partnerships


Codesharing is the most common type of airline partnership; it involves one airline selling tickets for another airline's flights under its own airline code. An early example of this was Japan Airlines' (JAL) codesharing partnership with Aeroflot in the 1960s on Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 flights; Aeroflot operated the flights using Aeroflot aircraft, but JAL sold tickets for the flights as if they were JAL flights. This practice allows airlines to expand their operations, at least on paper, into parts of the world where they cannot afford to establish bases or purchase aircraft. Another example was the Austrian
Austrian Airlines
Austrian Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Austria, headquartered in Office Park 2 on the grounds of Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Wien-Umgebung and a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Together with regional subsidiary Tyrolean Airways and charter arm Lauda Air, it operates...

Sabena
Sabena
SABENA was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels National Airport. After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of SABENA's assets in February 2002, which then became Brussels Airlines...

 partnership on the Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

/JFK route during the late '60s, using a Sabena Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...

 with Austrian livery
Aircraft livery
Aircraft livery is a paint scheme applied to an aircraft, generally to fuselage, wings, empennage , or jet engines. Most airlines have a standard paint scheme for their aircraft fleet, usually prominently displaying the airline logo or name. From time to time special liveries are introduced, for...

.

Since airline reservation requests are often made by city-pair (such as "show me flights from Chicago to Düsseldorf"), an airline who is able to codeshare with another airline for a variety of routes might be able to be listed as indeed offering a Chicago–Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

 flight. The passenger is advised however, that airline no. 1 operates the flight from say Chicago to Amsterdam, and airline no. 2 operates the continuing flight (on a different airplane, sometimes from another terminal) to Düsseldorf. Thus the primary rationale for code sharing is to expand one's service offerings in city-pair terms so as to increase sales.

A more recent development is the airline alliance
Airline alliance
An airline alliance is an agreement between two or more airlines to cooperate on a substantial level. The three largest passenger alliances are the Star Alliance, SkyTeam and Oneworld. Alliances also form between cargo airlines, such as that of WOW Alliance, SkyTeam Cargo and ANA/UPS Alliance...

, which became prevalent in late 1990s. These alliances can act as virtual mergers to get around government restrictions. Groups of airlines such as the Star Alliance
Star Alliance
Star Alliance is the world's first and largest airline alliance, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany . The alliance was founded in 1997 by five of the world's leading airlines: Air Canada, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Thai Airways International and United Airlines...

, Oneworld
Oneworld
Oneworld , branded as oneworld, is one of the world's three largest global airline alliances with its central management team, oneworld Management Company, based in New York City, New York, USA. Oneworld was founded in 1999 by American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific...

 and SkyTeam
SkyTeam
SkyTeam, branded as SKYTEAM, is an airline alliance with its centralised management team, SkyTeam Central, based at the World Trade Center Schiphol Airport on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands...

 coordinate their passenger service programs (such as lounges and frequent-flyer programs), offer special interline tickets, and often engage in extensive codesharing (sometimes systemwide). These are increasingly integrated business combinations—sometimes including cross-equity arrangements—in which products, service standards, schedules, and airport facilities are standardized and combined for higher efficiency. One of the first airlines to start an alliance with another airline was KLM, who partnered with Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines
Northwest Airlines, Inc. was a major United States airline founded in 1926 and absorbed into Delta Air Lines by a merger approved on October 29, 2008, making Delta the largest airline in the world...

. Both airlines later entered the SkyTeam alliance after the fusion of KLM and Air France
Air France-KLM
Air France-KLM is a European airline holding company incorporated under French law with its headquarters at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport in Tremblay-en-France, Paris...

 in 2004.

Often the companies combine IT
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 operations, or purchase fuel and aircraft as a bloc in order to achieve higher bargaining power. However, the alliances have been most successful at purchasing invisible supplies and services, such as fuel. Airlines usually prefer to purchase items visible to their passengers to differentiate themselves from local competitors. If an airline's main domestic competitor flies Boeing airliners, then the airline may prefer to use Airbus aircraft regardless of what the rest of the alliance chooses.

Fuel hedging


Southwest is credited with maintaining strong business profits between 1999 and the early 2000s due to its fuel hedging policy. Looking at the annual reports many other airlines are replicating Southwest's hedging policy to control their fuel costs.
Average fuel cost per gallon 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines Co. is an American low-cost airline based in Dallas, Texas. Southwest is the largest airline in the United States, based upon domestic passengers carried,...

$1.13 $1.64 $1.80 $2.44 $2.12
JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways Corporation is an American low-cost airline. The company is headquartered in the Forest Hills neighborhood of the New York City borough of Queens. Its main base is John F. Kennedy International Airport, also in Queens....

$1.70 $2.08 $2.18 $3.08 $2.08
American Airlines
American Airlines
American Airlines, Inc. is the world's fourth-largest airline in passenger miles transported and operating revenues. American Airlines is a subsidiary of the AMR Corporation and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas adjacent to its largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport...

$2.8 $2.12 $3.03 $2.07
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

$1.89 $2.12 $2.23 $3.16 $2.15
United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

$2.11 $2.18 $3.54 $1.75

Environmental impacts



Aircraft engines emit noise pollution
Noise pollution
Noise pollution is excessive, displeasing human, animal or machine-created environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life...

, gases and particulate emissions, and contribute to global dimming
Global dimming
Global dimming is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth's surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in the 1950s. The effect varies by location, but worldwide it has been estimated to be of the order of a 4%...

.

Modern turbofan
Turbofan
The turbofan is a type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used for aircraft propulsion. A turbofan combines two types of engines, the turbo portion which is a conventional gas turbine engine, and the fan, a propeller-like ducted fan...

 and turboprop
Turboprop
A turboprop engine is a type of turbine engine which drives an aircraft propeller using a reduction gear.The gas turbine is designed specifically for this application, with almost all of its output being used to drive the propeller...

 engines are considerably more fuel-efficient and less polluting than earlier models. However, despite this, the rapid growth of air travel
Air travel
Air travel is a form of travel in vehicles such as airplanes, helicopters, hot air balloons, blimps, gliders, hang gliding, parachuting or anything else that can sustain flight.-Domestic and international flights:...

 in recent years contributes to an increase in total pollution attributable to aviation
Aviation
Aviation is the design, development, production, operation, and use of aircraft, especially heavier-than-air aircraft. Aviation is derived from avis, the Latin word for bird.-History:...

, offsetting some of the reductions achieved by automobiles. In the EU greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

 emissions from aviation increased by 87% between 1990 and 2006.

CO2 emissions from the jet fuel burned per passenger on an average 3200 kilometres (1,988.4 mi) airline flight is about 353 kilograms (776 pounds). Loss of natural habitat potential associated with the jet fuel burned per passenger on a 3200 kilometres (1,988.4 mi) airline flight is estimated to be 250 square meters (2700 square feet).

In the context of purported climate change and peak oil
Peak oil
Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. This concept is based on the observed production rates of individual oil wells, projected reserves and the combined production rate of a field...

, there is a debate about possible taxation of air travel and the inclusion of aviation in an emissions trading
Emissions trading
Emissions trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants....

 scheme, with a view to ensuring that the total external costs of aviation are taken into account.

The airline industry is responsible for about 11 percent of greenhouse gas
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

es emitted by the U.S. transportation sector. Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 estimates that biofuels could reduce flight-related greenhouse-gas emissions by 60 to 80 percent. The solution would be blending algae fuels with existing jet fuel:
  • Boeing and Air New Zealand
    Air New Zealand
    Air New Zealand Limited is the national airline and flag carrier of New Zealand. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 26 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations in 15 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania, and is...

     are collaborating with leading Brazilian biofuels maker Tecbio and Aquaflow Bionomic of New Zealand and other jet biofuel developers around the world.
  • Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Green Fund
    Virgin Green Fund
    Virgin Green Fund has been established to invest in companies in the renewable energy and resource efficiency sectors in the US and Europe.- Investment opportunities :...

     are looking into the technology as part of a biofuels initiative.
  • KLM has made the first commercial flight with bio-fuel in 2009.

Call signs


Each operator of a scheduled or charter flight uses an airline call sign when communicating with airports or air traffic control centres. Most of these call-signs are derived from the airline's trade name, but for reasons of history, marketing, or the need to reduce ambiguity in spoken English (so that pilots do not mistakenly make navigational decisions based on instructions issued to a different aircraft), some airlines and air forces use call-signs less obviously connected with their trading name. For example, British Airways uses a Speedbird call-sign, named after the logo of its predecessor, BOAC
British Overseas Airways Corporation
The British Overseas Airways Corporation was the British state airline from 1939 until 1946 and the long-haul British state airline from 1946 to 1974. The company started life with a merger between Imperial Airways Ltd. and British Airways Ltd...

, while SkyEurope
SkyEurope
SkyEurope Airlines was a low-cost airline headquartered in Bratislava, with its main base at M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava, Slovakia, and another base in Prague. The carrier filed for bankruptcy on 31 August 2009 and suspended all flights on 1 September 2009...

 used Relax.

Airline personnel



The various types of airline personnel include:
Flight operations personnel including flight safety personnel.
  • Flight crew, responsible for the operation of the aircraft. Flight crew members include:
    • Pilots
      Aviator
      An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

       (Captain and First Officer: some older aircraft also required a Flight Engineer
      Flight engineer
      Flight engineers work in three types of aircraft: fixed-wing , rotary wing , and space flight .As airplanes became even larger requiring more engines and complex systems to operate, the workload on the two pilots became excessive during certain critical parts of the flight regime, notably takeoffs...

       and or a Navigator
      Navigator
      A navigator is the person on board a ship or aircraft responsible for its navigation. The navigator's primary responsibility is to be aware of ship or aircraft position at all times. Responsibilities include planning the journey, advising the Captain or aircraft Commander of estimated timing to...

      )
    • Flight attendant
      Flight attendant
      Flight attendants or cabin crew are members of an aircrew employed by airlines primarily to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers aboard commercial flights, on select business jet aircraft, and on some military aircraft.-History:The role of a flight attendant derives from that of similar...

      s, (led by a purser
      Purser
      The purser joined the warrant officer ranks of the Royal Navy in the early fourteenth century and existed as a Naval rank until 1852. The development of the warrant officer system began in 1040 when five English ports began furnishing warships to King Edward the Confessor in exchange for certain...

       on larger aircraft)
    • in-flight security personnel
      Sky marshal
      A sky marshal is an undercover law enforcement or counter terrorist agent on board a commercial aircraft to counter aircraft hijackings...

       on some airlines (most notably El Al
      El Al
      El Al Israel Airlines Ltd , trading as El Al , is the flag carrier of Israel. It operates scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights to Europe, North America, Africa and the Far East from its main base in Ben Gurion International Airport...

      )
  • Groundcrew
    Groundcrew
    In aviation, the groundcrew is the support crew supplying the aircraft with fuel and maintenance, as opposed to the aircrew.In airlines, ground crew members include:*Airframe and powerplant technicians*Avionics technicians*Baggage handlers*Rampers...

    , responsible for operations at airports. Ground crew members include:
    • Aerospace and avionics engineers responsible for certifying the aircraft for flight and management of aircraft maintenance
      • Aerospace
        Aerospace
        Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

         engineers, responsible for airframe, powerplant and electrical systems maintenance
      • Avionics
        Avionics
        Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

         engineers responsible for avionics and instruments maintenance
    • Airframe
      Airframe
      The airframe of an aircraft is its mechanical structure. It is typically considered to include fuselage, wings and undercarriage and exclude the propulsion system...

       and powerplant
      PowerPlant
      PowerPlant is an object-oriented GUI toolkit, application framework and set of class libraries for Mac OS, created by Metrowerks. The framework was fairly popular at the height of the Classic Mac OS era, and was primarily used with CodeWarrior...

       technicians
    • Electric System technicians, responsible for maintenance of electrical systems
    • Avionics
      Avionics
      Avionics are electronic systems used on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft.Avionic systems include communications, navigation, the display and management of multiple systems and the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles...

       technicians, responsible for maintenance of avionics
    • Flight dispatchers
    • Baggage handler
      Baggage handler
      In the airline industry, a baggage handler is a person who loads and unloads baggage , and other cargo for transport via aircraft...

      s
    • Ramp Agents
    • Gate agent
      Gate agent
      Gate agents work at the boarding gates of airports where passengers board their flights and arriving planes drop off passengers. Shifts vary with the particular airline's flight schedule, and, like ticket agents, gate agents must wear uniforms and put on a pleasant face for the public...

      s
    • Ticket agents
    • Passenger service agents (such as airline lounge employees)
    • Reservation agents, usually (but not always) at facilities outside the airport.


Airlines follow a corporate
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

 structure where each broad area of operations (such as maintenance, flight operations(including flight safety),
and passenger service) is supervised by a vice president. Larger airlines often appoint vice presidents to oversee each of the
airline's hubs as well. Airlines employ lawyers to deal with regulatory procedures and other administrative tasks.

Industry trends


The pattern of ownership has been privatized in the recent years, that is, the ownership has gradually changed from governments to private and individual sectors or organizations. This occurs as regulators permit greater freedom and non-government ownership, in steps that are usually decades apart. This pattern is not seen for all airlines in all regions.

The overall trend of demand has been consistently increasing. In the 1950s and 1960s, annual growth rates of 15% or more were common. Annual growth of 5-6% persisted through the 1980s and 1990s. Growth rates are not consistent in all regions, but countries with a de-regulated airline industry have more competition and greater pricing freedom. This results in lower fares and sometimes dramatic spurts in traffic growth. The U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, India and other markets exhibit this trend. The industry has been observed to be cyclical in its financial performance. Four or five years of poor earnings precede five or six years of improvement. But profitability even in the good years is generally low, in the range of 2-3% net profit after interest and tax. In times of profit, airlines lease new generations of airplanes and upgrade services in response to higher demand. Since 1980, the industry has not earned back the cost of capital during the best of times. Conversely, in bad times losses can be dramatically worse. Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett
Warren Edward Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often introduced as "legendary investor, Warren Buffett", he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is...

 once said that despite all the money that has been invested in all airlines, the net profit is less than zero. He believes it is one of the hardest businesses to manage.

As in many mature industries, consolidation is a trend. Airline groupings may consist of limited bilateral partnerships, long-term, multi-faceted alliances between carriers, equity arrangements, mergers
Mergers and acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions refers to the aspect of corporate strategy, corporate finance and management dealing with the buying, selling, dividing and combining of different companies and similar entities that can help an enterprise grow rapidly in its sector or location of origin, or a new field or...

, or takeover
Takeover
In business, a takeover is the purchase of one company by another . In the UK, the term refers to the acquisition of a public company whose shares are listed on a stock exchange, in contrast to the acquisition of a private company.- Friendly takeovers :Before a bidder makes an offer for another...

s. Since governments often restrict ownership and merger between companies in different countries, most consolidation takes place within a country. In the U.S., over 200 airlines have merged, been taken over, or gone out of business since deregulation in 1978. Many international airline managers are lobbying their governments to permit greater consolidation to achieve higher economy and efficiency.

See also



  • Air ferry
    Air ferry
    An air ferry is a ferry service in which cars and passengers are transported by aircraft.-British services:The air ferry service was inaugurated by retired Royal Air Force officer Air Commodore Griffith J. Powell, who founded an airline company called Silver City in 1948. They used Bristol 170...

  • Air safety
    Air safety
    Air safety is a term encompassing the theory, investigation and categorization of flight failures, and the prevention of such failures through regulation, education and training. It can also be applied in the context of campaigns that inform the public as to the safety of air travel.-United...

  • Airline complaints
    Airline complaints
    Airline complaints are any type of formal complaint filed by an airline customer either to the airline responsible for the grievance or the government office responsible for overseeing the airlines national industry...

  • Airline timetable
    Airline timetable
    Airline timetables are booklets that many airlines worldwide use to inform passengers of several different things, such as schedules, fleet, security, in-flight entertainment, food menu, restriction and phone contact information....

  • Airliners.net
    Airliners.net
    Airliners.net is an aviation website founded by Johan Lundgren, Sweden, in 1997, evolving from his previous Pictures of Modern Airliners site started in 1994...

  • Airlines of North America
    Airlines of North America
    Airlines Of North America is a book that was published in 1985 by Crest Line Books. It was written by Bob Shives and Bill Thompson.The book describes the history of many of the airlines that flew from North America up until '85...

    (book)
  • Airport security
    Airport security
    Airport security refers to the techniques and methods used in protecting airports and aircraft from crime.Large numbers of people pass through airports. This presents potential targets for terrorism and other forms of crime due to the number of people located in a particular location...

  • Beyond rights
    Beyond rights
    Beyond rights is another name for the Fifth Freedom of air travel, as defined by the Convention on International Civil Aviation in 1944, otherwise known as the Chicago Convention....

  • Cargo airline
    Cargo airline
    Cargo airlines are airlines dedicated to the transport of cargo. Some cargo airlines are divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines.-Logistics:...

  • Charter airline
  • Environmental impact of aviation
  • Federal Aviation Administration
    Federal Aviation Administration
    The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

  • Flight planning
    Flight planning
    Flight planning is the process of producing a flight plan to describe a proposed aircraft flight. It involves two safety-critical aspects: fuel calculation, to ensure that the aircraft can safely reach the destination, and compliance with air traffic control requirements, to minimise the risk of...

  • FlightAware
    FlightAware
    FlightAware is an aviation software and data services company. Based in Houston, Texas, it is best known for the flightaware.com web site, the first to offer free flight tracking of both private and commercial aircraft in the United States...

  • Government contract flight
    Government contract flight
    A government contract flight is a type of charter airline operation contracted with a government agency.In the United States, the massive mobility requirements during World War II proved that military transport could not meet all the logistical needs that might arise...

  • Hyper-mobile travel
    Hypermobility (travel)
    The term hypermobility in regard to travelers arose around 1980 and is a concept that has increased in useage since the early 1990s: Damette ; Hepworth and Ducatel ; Whitelegg ; Lowe ; van der Stoep ; Shields ; Cox ; Adams ; Khisty and Zeitler ; Gössling et al. ; and Mander & Randles...

  • IATA – industry standards organization
  • Low-cost carrier
    Low-cost carrier
    A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline is an airline that generally has lower fares and fewer comforts...

  • Red-eye flight
    Red-eye flight
    A red-eye flight is any flight departing late at night and arriving early the next morning. The term red-eye derives from the fatigue symptom of having red eyes, which can be caused or aggravated by late-night travel....

  • Regional airline
    Regional airline
    Regional airlines are airlines that operate regional aircraft to provide passenger air service to communities without sufficient demand to attract mainline service...

  • Transportation Security Administration
    Transportation Security Administration
    The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....



Airline related lists




External links