i do agree that consolidation will come sooner or later, but let´s make one step after the other.
in my opinion, there is certainly no reason why they would only be some major carriers left. there will be many regional carriers, many charter carriers and other airlines which, imho, will undoubtedly by tied to the alliances one way or the other.
i don´t know exactly who on this topic is from Europe, but from a European point a view, i want to tell you that in my eyes over here we´re still far, far away from Europe being one entity. it´s years away before the EU will be comparable to the USA and so comparing the EU with USA doesn´t still fit the picture. there are so many points which are different between the USA and the EU as a whole, some of them i will point out in this post.
sure, in two months most countries of the EU will have just one and the same currency (f.e. except the UK!!!) but that´s, according to politicians, due to financial and economical reasons and it makes life much easier in such a small place.
f.e. i live 5 minutes from France, 45 minutes from Luxemburg, 3 hours from Belgium and the Netherlands, 12 hours from Spain and Poland, 6 from Switzerland, 9 from Italy, and so on, and that´s all by car!!! so there are so many different cultures, languages and currencies and whatsoever on such a small place and you can´t compare this to USA, at least not for many years to come.
granted, Europe has more inhabitants than the USA but it´s still much more diverse.
i believe in airline consolidation in Europe as well, but it will take some time. however, i agree that the current aviation crisis could speed up consolidation but i don´t think it´s gonna happen as it was projected in some statements above.
most things from the USA if it´s McDonald´s, Coke and Pepsi, GAP, Hollywood and whatelse will finally come to Europe but most Europeans still take it differently.
remember that many Europeans enjoy mayonaise on their french fries which is a nightmare to the Americans!!!
take for example the european star carriers, Lufthansa, Austrian, SAS, bmi, Spaniar (i know that JK is not a partner).
there are so many destinations which currently seem couldn´t be served profitably by SAS, bmi, OS, f.e. DXB, GRU, HKG, and many, many others.
in this regard i would expect that these airlines will concentrate feeding pax of such destinations to their bigger partner Lufthansa which already operates to such destinations and thus can increase services and provide more convenient travel choices to the traveler.
other major destinations such as NYC, ORD, NRT can easily be served by the other carriers as well but in my opinion it makes no sense if AUA serves some three times a week, SAS two times a week, LH goes there four times (i would no particular example to this case, this is just to point out what i wanna say).
instead, they would pool their pax on one carrier (in other cases i wouldn´t have necessarily to be LH) and thus could reduce costs and risks.
i do agree, that would make some airlines such as BA, AF and LH even stronger but in the end, i would assume that carriers such as SAS, IB, AY, AZ would be partially owned by their respective alliance "mother" airlines thus creating a more consolidated airline industry which would be still more diverse than in the USA.
that´s how i could imagine it for next couple of years. just an idea, and that´s certainly not the end of the game but i don´t think we should rush to conclusions.
we´ll see where it goes...
If only pure sweetness was offered, why's this bitter taste left in my mouth.