Silverstreak
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Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:42 pm

Will there ever be a carrier(s) that would represent and serve the entire continent and beyond under the EU flag? Would it make more sense to have a few EU airlines than the many "flag" carriers there are today?
 
bennett123
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:45 pm

A may be a good idea, (I have serious doubts).

Politically it is no go.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:59 pm

any airline based in the EU can paint tha blue flag on its aircraft now.

The number of airlines in the EU is dictated by the market and not (thanks God) by the EU commission.
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Concorde001
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:08 am

Quote:
Will there ever be a carrier(s) that would represent and serve the entire continent and beyond under the EU flag?

I don't think any flag carrier of any country serves their respective country entirely! For example, BA does not fly to every single British airport and AI does not even have an Indian domestic network.

As for serving under an EU flag...I'm not too sure. However, I think the strongest possible contender for re-branding itself as 'European Airways/Airlines' is the AF-KL group. If I'm not mistaken, AF will not be obliged to keep using the KLM brand after 2009. If between now and then AF-KL decided to buy AZ, then we could have a truly European airline and maybe they could re-brand themselves. Personally, I doubt such a move because Air France and KLM are already strong brands with high recognition.


Quoting Silverstreak (Thread starter):
Would it make more sense to have a few EU airlines than the many "flag" carriers there are today?

You are correct - it does make sense. In Europe we have far too many carriers, especially legacy carriers which are struggling to make a profit. For example, BD, SK, AZ, OA etc. Airline consolidation will happen in Europe...indeed it is happening now --> We have seen AF-KL and LH-LX team up and both have proved to be successful mergers. AF-KL is doing very well and LX has achieved excellent profits this year after years of breaking even and losing money.

Expect to see a BA/IB merger in the next few years (after 2008) and expect to see bids for SK, BD, AZ and OA (that is if AZ and OA survive). I also expect to see some merger activity in relation to OS and possible some eastern European carriers like OK, MA and LO.

[Edited 2006-10-28 17:12:08]

[Edited 2006-10-28 17:13:21]
 
zvezda
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:11 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 2):
any airline based in the EU can paint tha blue flag on its aircraft now.

Can it paint only the EU flag and no other?

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):
Politically it is no go.

Politically, it might be inevitable upon a merger.
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:20 am

Consolidating all of the flag carriers of Europe under one EU flag? Wouldn't that be kind of like consolidating the remaining USA legacy carriers under one national airline? I don't see any movement in the USA to put AA, DL, UA, CO, US and NW all under one brand unless the USA elected all Democrats (real radical left Canadian NDP types) as well as an administration like what Walter Mondale proposed back in 1984 to counter Ronald Reagan.
For BA, AF, KL, AZ and LH as well as a few assorted other flag carriers similarly there would half to be all of them controlled by a far left of center government who believed in nationalization and have union co-oberation across the board. Something that is highly unlikely to happen given the ups and downs and political comings and goings of various countries.
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zvezda
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:27 am

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 5):
Consolidating all of the flag carriers of Europe under one EU flag? Wouldn't that be kind of like consolidating the remaining USA legacy carriers under one national airline?

No, it would be like all the US carriers flying the US flag rather than the state flag of the state in which they are incorporated.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:44 am

The "flag carrier" concept was useful when certain countries required reliable service on money-losing international routes for reasons of state. As empires (real or economic) disintegrated, the number of these routes became vanishingly small.

Why would the EU need a flag carrier? UK-Falklands? France-St Pierre et Miquelon?
 
FlySSC
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 12:54 am

Many European airlines already display the European flag on their planes :


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and probably many more ....

 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:02 am

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 3):
If I'm not mistaken, AF will not be obliged to keep using the KLM brand after 2009.

They would be stupid not to, IMHO. It depends very much on perception but KLM brand seems to me like a more valuable brand than AF.

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 3):
I also expect to see some merger activity in relation to OS and possible some eastern European carriers like OK, MA and LO.

I would love to see that as well, but I'm afraid OK is next in line after AZ to be eaten alive by KLM-AF.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
Can it paint only the EU flag and no other?



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[Edited 2006-10-28 18:05:04]
 
ZRH
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:07 am

I only ask: why? Is there an US flag airline? No! As most of the airline business is private in these days and not state owned anymore, this is a little bit a strange question. Why would an private company want to be a so called flag airline of the EU???
 
ehho
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:08 am

Flag carriers, like MasseyBrown already pointed out, were symbols of yesteryear's aviation, when airlines were prestigous state businesses that served much more as instruments of government rather than as corporate entities. The whole point of EU aviation policy was to break that system up, to introduce the common, open market on a European level to that field of business, something that wasn't even done nationally in many EU states prior to 1995. So the EU introducing state carriers on a union level would be a historical irony, and totally against anything the EU stands for.

Now, if a few large European carriers merge into one, or start joint operations otherwise, it could become conceivable that the new entity will not be traced directly to a certain state, and would need a European identity. That could also happen e.g. if an airline choses to register as a legal person under EU law, something that is possible nowadays, a so called SE (Societas Europaea, or European Corporation in Latin). Then perhaps we will have a truly European carrier waiving only the EU flag for it won't have a home state as such.

Anyways, never forget that the main reason for EU's existence is opening up markets, something totally opposite to the notion of flag or legacy carrier.

@L410Turbolet: you just can't resist picking on QS, can you? Big grin
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:16 am

Quoting EHHO (Reply 11):
@L410Turbolet: you just can't resist picking on QS, can you?

No, I just think they are real embarassment and total disgrace for Czech aviation. For that very reason I'm glad, however, they build their "reputation" under the EU flag.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:22 am

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):

Can it paint only the EU flag and no other?

I guess there are no restrictions. An airline can show their roots and declare the European heritage at the same time but can just choose for Europe. It is rather a marketing aspect.


We have a domestic market in Europe, it is reality since a number of years. Any airline can fly from any point in the EU and affiliated countries to any point in the EU and affiliated countries. Not too long, when the traffic rights will go from the single countries to the EU, any EU airline can fly from any point in the EU to an< point outside the EU. That will further concentrate the business and more carriers will disappear.

With the hub concept, that is reality and daily routine for the big hub carriers already. LH, AF/KL and BA serve a world market and connect anywhere to anywhere through their hubs.
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Concorde001
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 2:00 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
Not too long, when the traffic rights will go from the single countries to the EU, any EU airline can fly from any point in the EU to an< point outside the EU

This will only work if they are 'Open Skies' agreements. Otherwise restricted ASAs will not work. For example, if the EU signs an ASA agreement with, for example, South Africa and flights are limited to certain frequencies, how will the EU Commission (an institution of the EU that I cannot stand) allocate rights?

Quoting EHHO (Reply 11):
never forget that the main reason for EU's existence is opening up markets

Internal markets yes, but on the international stage...I don't think so. The EU has a strong protectionist streak which is strenghthened, if not promoted by certain EU member states. For example, the recent restrictions on imports of Chinese clothes.
 
MRURUN
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 6:59 pm

What are now considered internal markets were once international markets, thats the whole point, to extend 'our' internal markets and keep the younger ones accross the pond out. There very well might be an EU 'flag carrier' in the considered sense, as differed from the 'state-owned' carrier, however, KL-AF buying AZ would not amount to it, as I'm sure the folks in LHR/HEL/ARN/RIX etc would not appreciate having to fly 'south' to get west/east/north. BA-IB-AY-SN-MA combo would be much more the ticket and more profitable too. Whats more it'll happen once the US comes into the 21st Century and becomes a proper market democracy.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:37 pm

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 14):
This will only work if they are 'Open Skies' agreements. Otherwise restricted ASAs will not work. For example, if the EU signs an ASA agreement with, for example, South Africa and flights are limited to certain frequencies, how will the EU Commission (an institution of the EU that I cannot stand) allocate rights?

Good question, they CANNOT prevent BA flying from FRA or LH flying from LHR. Any agreements will be open skies but at the end of the day it will be the large carriers operating from their existing hubs and syphoning traffic from the other alliances hub. Not much change as from today.

What will change is the flag. Traffic rights are tied to the nationality right now, that is why KL/AF is not a full merger but retains the separate names. Some names are likely to disappear as smaller carriers are completely merged into the big 3.
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viasa
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:43 pm


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This "is" the EU-flagcarrier...
 
Kevin777
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 9:51 pm

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 3):
You are correct - it does make sense. In Europe we have far too many carriers, especially legacy carriers which are struggling to make a profit. For example, BD, SK, AZ, OA etc. Airline consolidation will happen in Europe...indeed it is happening now --> We have seen AF-KL and LH-LX team up and both have proved to be successful mergers. AF-KL is doing very well and LX has achieved excellent profits this year after years of breaking even and losing money.

Expect to see a BA/IB merger in the next few years (after 2008) and expect to see bids for SK, BD, AZ and OA (that is if AZ and OA survive). I also expect to see some merger activity in relation to OS and possible some eastern European carriers like OK, MA and LO.

More airline consolidation in Europe? Yes, but I think in the form of take-overs "behind the scenes", that is, where the original brands are kept; for instance Swiss. Also, take-overs are deterred to some extend by airlines entering into alliances.

But PLEASE - and this is not just speaking as a Dane proud of his legacy carrier! - don't put SK in the same box as BD, AZ and OA! SK has come A LONG way in the past years, and they are back in the black. Pax numbers have gone through the roof lately, and yields are keeping up - and costs have come down a lot at the same time. Bids for SK? Maybe, but don't expect it to be a bargain.

Quoting Silverstreak (Thread starter):
Will there ever be a carrier(s) that would represent and serve the entire continent and beyond under the EU flag?

EUjet.. Big grin ..oh no... they didn't serve the whole continent... and... oh yeah, they went bankrupt..!

Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 5):
Consolidating all of the flag carriers of Europe under one EU flag? Wouldn't that be kind of like consolidating the remaining USA legacy carriers under one national airline? I don't see any movement in the USA to put AA, DL, UA, CO, US and NW all under one brand

 checkmark 

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breiz
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:21 pm

Quoting Silverstreak (Thread starter):
Will there ever be a carrier(s) that would represent and serve the entire continent and beyond under the EU flag? Would it make more sense to have a few EU airlines than the many "flag" carriers there are today?

It is difficult for an airline to be EU flag carrier as EU is not a state:
" The European Union (EU) is a family of democratic European countries, committed to working together for peace and prosperity. It is not a State intended to replace existing States, nor is it just an organisation for international cooperation."
Extract from http://europa.eu/abc/index_en.htm
As a consequence, an airline may adorn the EU flag as based in EU, but that's about it.
 
konrad
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Quoting Silverstreak (Thread starter):
Will there ever be a carrier(s) that would represent and serve the entire continent and beyond under the EU flag? Would it make more sense to have a few EU airlines than the many "flag" carriers there are today?

If there ever is such a carrier the planes would be cleaned by Air France, the in-flight entertainment (no PTVs) would be provided by Lufthansa, route planning would come from bmi and the management would be Alitalia.

(sorry, couldn't resist)
 
PanHAM
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:05 am

Quoting Konrad (Reply 20):

If there ever is such a carrier the planes would be cleaned by Air France, the in-flight entertainment (no PTVs) would be provided by Lufthansa, route planning would come from bmi and the management would be Alitalia.

... line checks by Olympic and MRO would be contracted to Nigeria. You forgot that.

we are noit talking about a national airline here but private enterprises which we have already today. BTW, they are in much better shape than the 7 top US carriers.
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MRURUN
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:01 am

Quoting Konrad (Reply 20):

...their regional pilots would be from the US, as would their pension managers and their seat layout designers, their cabin crew, their planes (*shudder*) and their engines. God help us all.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:05 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 2):
The number of airlines in the EU is dictated by the market and not (thanks God) by the EU commission.

= Perfect answer. An EU flag carrier will become a behemoth like Airbus with its decision making devoid of market realities and concentrated on political bickering.

-A.
Live, and let live.
 
Silverstreak
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:01 pm

Thank you all. Very interesting remarks.
 
Johnny
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:01 pm

The authorities already work on it.

There would be a huge advantage because with a european flag AND european registration crews could be changed very easy from airplane to airplane.( e.g. flying BRU-LPA-LGW with a Thomas Cook Belgium Airplane to LPA and going to LGW with a Thomas Cook UK-one ).
 
BOE773
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:27 pm

AF/KLM should consider a unified attractive logo for Europe since they are the dominant carrier.
 
baroque
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:34 pm

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 7):
Why would the EU need a flag carrier? UK-Falklands? France-St Pierre et Miquelon?

They could also use an EU link to their financial dominions to the W of the Atlantic.  angel 
 
masseybrown
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 7:28 pm

Quoting Baroque (Reply 27):
They could also use an EU link to their financial dominions to the W of the Atlantic.

Ah, but those routes make money. Flag routes, typically, don't.

The US govt. is looking at some flag routes. There is a subcommittee in the US Congress whose sole purpose is to promote US-Africa flights. No, I'm wrong; it also promotes free flights for Congressmen. Anyway, the African flights could probably be called flag routes.
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:18 pm

Within the EU, the TRUE EU airlines and LCCs like Ryanair and Easyjet. They have hubs in several countries, and are building up an incredibly dense network of flights within Europe.

How many routes do the likes of BA, AF/KLM, LH, IB etc operate outside of their home country in comparison?
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
baroque
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RE: Will There Ever Be An EU Flag Airline?

Mon Oct 30, 2006 11:33 pm

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 28):
Anyway, the African flights could probably be called flag routes.

I am sure that Brussels will be happy to entertain suitable suggestions along similar lines. Probably Africa is out, AF might think they have that covered. Is the US Africa route an early plan as to how to cope with Barack O?  angel 

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