Last week discussion on AUA leaving Star for SkyTeam has drawn a lot of interesting opinions. I had another thought on OS which goes in a different direction.
We all know that Swiss has removed all ERJ-145 and Saabs from the fleet, their smallest aircraft being now Avro RJ85 and RJ100. Austrian on the other hand is heavy on F70, CRJs and Dash props, Q400 and 300. Both airlines have sizable short-, medium-haul operations of 32S series, the long-haul seems to be stronger at LX (more high yield passengers ?).
Hypotetically, don't you see a potential synergy there ? Say OS gives up the low-performing long-haul flights keeping a few high-yield routes (Japan ? IAD ?) and redirects its passengers via Zurich. In return LX sends its East Europe, Russia, Balkan countries bound passengers via VIE taking advantage of the nice OS network there. An additional point might be to employ Austrian Arrows aircraft on Swiss short-haul network, wherever Avros are too big.
Now I realize this all sounds like a remake of the initial Qualiflyer now within Star. The point is, Swiss can do it with LH/MUC so why bother with Austrian ?