When you look at every other industry, there has been significant consolidation - steel, aluminum, autos, pharmaceuticals, oil, etc. It is only natural that the same will happen with airlines once governments stop propping up bankrupt carriers. There is no need to have over 10 airlines in the US.
Talking of pension obligations, here's an article from the Dallas Morning News:
'Legacy' airlines facing doom?
Grim conditions will cause top carriers to fail, experts predict
CDT on Thursday, April 8, 2004
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – Unable to bring down their high costs fast enough, many traditional airlines are doomed to fail, experts at an airline conference said Wednesday.
Growing costs for pensions and health benefits for retirees are exacerbating cost disadvantages
that major carriers face compared with discount competitors. The grim cost picture combined with a steadily smaller share of revenue spells big trouble, even for carriers that have restructured themselves in the past two years, such as Fort Worth-based American Airlines Inc.
For rest of article:
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein