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Only 3 Major Airlines In Europe Says Lufthansa.  
User currently offlineMika10021 From Greece, joined Jul 2004, 122 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8009 times:

On an interview to a greek newspaper Lufthansa's vice-president Joachim Steinbach said that there will be only three major airlines in the coming years.All the other airlines that will survive are going to be regional carriers.He doesn't name any but I am sure that he means BA,AF/KLM,LH.
He also said that they are not intrested in buying OA and only would work with them through Star Alliance.
What do you think?I personaly think he is right.

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7107 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7925 times:

Come to think of it, it is true. Secondary carriers to them would be the likes of AZ, LX, NG and SAS but they do not pose too much of a threat to the top 3.

User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

These 3 airline scenario depends a lot on the importancy of bilaterals in the future.
So it could come to 3 main lagacy carriers and some locos or to 3 main airline groupings and some locos.

User currently offlineFokker50 From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 359 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7717 times:

Well for me the three major European a/l are:
- IB
- BA
- AF
- LH
- Ryanair

Bogota, the South american gateway!
User currently offlineExpressjetphx From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7638 times:

Well for me the three major European a/l are:
- IB
- BA
- AF
- LH
- Ryanair

Although I agree that IB is large in Europe, they do not even come close to the size of BA, AF, KL, or LH. If you think about it, BA, AF, KL, and LH serve many markets in the US, Asia, and Africa, as well as some South and Central America. While IB does serve South and Central America extensively, IB hardly covers the US the way the other European majors do, they barely touch Africa, and have no service to Asia. Ryanair is an LCC, and only operates 737s within the European continent. I don't think Ryanair could come close to being considered a major.

User currently offlineAlektoronto From Canada, joined Nov 2003, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7676 times:

Well if BA/AF/LH were to take over all the international flying from the EU then a lot of money could be saved and service levels would go up in that segment. (not counting the LCC's). I would take BA MAD to EZE anyday over IB as an example.
An ideal Europe would see BA/LH/AF take over all long haul flying and the likes of SK, AY, KL, LX take a regional role (maybe as a LCC)
and there are the true LCC's like Ryanair, Easyjet, Skyeurope, etc...that will in a few years cover all the EU.
I personally do not understand the existance of long haul networks for AZ and OA for example as it is obvious that they cannot make money and seem to keep losing massive amounts of it and since their service standards as so low they will not be missed except for their bloated workforces and nationalistic supporters. It bogles my mind that they are allowed to continue to bleed while European taxpayers flip the bill.
The only bad thing about this theory is that a lot of cities will lose intercontinental flights i.e. NYC to PRG, WAW, BUD, ATH, etc..


User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7553 times:

I guess ze Germans are considering Aeroflot to not be a European airline..... (which I am not sure anyone can define if it is, but they are pointedly excluded by the LH's statement).

User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 days ago) and read 7386 times:

Afay1, I think he left out Aeroflot not because he didn't consider it a European airline - as you said yourself, that one's hard to define anyhow - but because Russia is simply too large to be "integrated" into the networks of one of the three big carriers.


Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineCarnoc From China, joined Oct 2001, 875 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 days ago) and read 7367 times:

When it comes to Russia, many Europeans simply don't think that state is part of Europe. BBC World Services had a comperhensive program on it, and I clearly remember one Russian simply said, "We are no-one. We aren't Europeans, we are not Asians, or at least the majority of Europeans and Asians don't think Russian people are part of them," and the BBC reporter simply replied, "Yes, that may be true. But, you are not no-one, because you are Russians."

Best Regards.

User currently offlineAnxebla From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 7181 times:

Steinbach is right, I think.
The main 3 groups will be:BA/IB, AF/KL and LH/European *A partners.

User currently offlineGodBless From Sweden, joined Apr 2000, 2752 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7028 times:

I remember back in 1995 that it was said that by the year 2000 there will only be three major airlines left. Swissair and Sabena have left, but besides that where is the big difference? The market is a totally different one but the major airlines are the same, so we'll see when we are down to three...


User currently offlinePearyland From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 27 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6309 times:

I am sure, that LH will be on of them as well as BA an AF/KL.

LH: On of the strongest Airlines in the world in terms of financially results. LH is the number one worldwide in terms of serving [b]international[/b] Passengers. No other Airlines serves that much [b]international[/b] Passengers than Lufthansa. In terms of the turnover, LH Company (Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cityline, Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Catering, Lufthansa Cargo, Condor ..... and so on) is also the number 1 worldwide. No other Company has such a huge turnaround than LH. And at least: LH has a very huge financiell back.

AF: After the merge of KL an AF they will be one of the major remainders

User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6217 times:

I'm quite skeptic with this, it hasn't happened before and will not in the future either. Some said even 15 years ago that there will be only a few major airlines in the future. What has happened since then? The amount of airlines has increased and will do so in the future as well. Some also have said years ago that all airlines in alliances will be merged as a one big airline in the future. Yeah right, and cows can fly as well.

Best Regards,

User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6163 times:

Oh, sorry I forgot to mention in my earlier post that if we would have only 3 major airlines in Europe here would be less competition on many routes. The EU wouldn't ever accept that because it would be only a disadvantage for customers. So this might be the dream of LH, but it will not come to true due the competition issues.

Best Regards,

User currently offlineStarFlyer From Germany, joined Sep 2002, 987 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 6058 times:

the total amount of airlines ma have increased - however may I remind you of the demise of Sabena and Swiss?
Regarding competition issues, 3 airlines is perfectly fine competition wise though they will be under heightened anti-trust supervision. Just look at the telco market, in most countries there are only three or four companies and there's quite a bit of competing going on!

Yours truly - StarFlyer
User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 5948 times:


Maybe so, but may I ask who's benefit it would be if we will see only 3 major airlines. Surely it is advantage for those 3 airlines but definitely all passengers would be losers due the increased travel time if they should always fly via the main hubs of those respective airlines. I'm aware of the demise of SN or SR, but there is also many growing smaller airlines.

Finnair is good example... they have done profits while major airlines have done losses. We have three digit growth numbers considering of long-haul flights from HEL. What would happen all those routes if AY would be just one of the feeders of LH for example. We would see 15 non-stop flights between HEL-FRA but that is all. Instead of 8hr non-stop long-haul flight to Beijing passengers should fly via MUC or FRA and their whole travel would take around 15 hours.

LH is well managed and excellent company which is very prosperous. However, other big airlines aren't as well managed and so there involves many risks as being a big. Constantly changing market and evolving industry makes the life of huge airlines challenging as they aren't so fast to streamline operations and costs as fast as smaller airlines. A good example in my opinion is the airline industry in the US. There you can clearly see what is the result if there is just a few very huge major airlines who are incapable to streamline their operations to new lower levels.

Fastest and smartest will always survive... like SN Brussels, Finnair, TAP or Aer Lingus...just to mention a few. We will also see new major hubs in Europe because many of the current hubs are too overcrowded to offer enough capacity for growing industry.

Best Regards,

User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5738 times:


I don't think that the LH man means that airlines like Finnair, TAP or AirLingus will disappear. But they will be more or less absorbed by the bigger ones. And it doesn`t automatically mean that the route network of the smaller airlines will be completely dismantled to feeder traffic, especially for the ones like Iberia, TAP and Finnair who have unmatchable geographical advantages.

Like UA has an Pacific Hub in SFO and an South Pacific hub in LAX and an main Hub in ORD, a grown BA would have a South America hub in MAD from where its brand IB operates and they would also have an Asia Hub in HEL with an maybe even stronger presence than what the independent Finnair now can operate.

User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5677 times:


You make good points. Like you said TP, AY and EI aren't major airlines so maybe my example was a little bit inaccurate. I think we just have to wait and see what will happen in the future... Anyway, I hope I'll be right. Not because I love to be right, but because I would like to see more independent airlines in Europe. Hopefully we will not see more mergers after KL/AF...

Best Regards,

User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5572 times:

If the US is any indication, I think the executive may be overly-optimistic (assuming he thinks LH will be one of the "three"). While may US airlines are currently in financial difficulties, there are still 5-6 "major" airlines out there, with many regionals. AA, UA, DL, CO, NW, and US (for now) could all be classified as majors with international service. WN is a major just because of its sheer size. AS, B6, F9, Midwest, and AirTran could be considered the equivalent of EI, Tap, Olympic, etc.

I think it will be a LONG while (if ever) that it comes down to 3 "majors" in either Europe or the US.

User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4846 times:

Seems to me we're already down to 3 major network airlines in Europe excluding regionals and LCCs ... OneWorld, Skyteam and Star Alliance.

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