I know, strange topic title... we are all aware how many of the world's airlines are currently struggling and indeed, how they have struggled historically. By and large, the airline business has not been a good place to invest your money. But other elements of the commercial aviation infrastructure, alike airports and airport concessionaires, are making good money... basically off of the passengers provided to them by the airlines.
If not for the airlines providing seats for passengers, there would not be anyone paying $25 a day to park at the airports. There would be nobody at the airport shops, restaurants and bars. We wouldn't be filling our airport hotels etc. There is a huge infrastructure making decent money off of the airlines even if the airlines cannot make much money flying people around.
Why didn't the airlines figure out a long time ago that they should be getting a cut of the revenue from all that infrastructure? A small percentage of the parking revenue, the duty free shop revenues, even airport hotel revenues.
Without the airline passenger, none of the business infrastructure that caters to the airline passengers would make money. Instead, airports charge the airlines rent and landing fees. It should be the other way around!
Radical notions perhaps... let's discuss it.