nickofatlanta
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Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:16 am

A Sydney Morning Herald article asks if Aeroflot has replaced Qantas as the longest continuously operating airline in the world as a result of the Qantas fleet grounding at the weekend. I think they may have a point...
http://www.smh.com.au/business/russi...ntas-grounding-20111101-1mtw6.html
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:52 am

I always thought KLM was the oldest?
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timz
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:54 am

Did KLM operate during WWII?
 
TN486
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:58 am

QF did not cease to exist, so whats your point? QANTAS is a group of companies, and though mainline was grounded for a couple of days, other flying entities wern't, so it now seems to me we could indulge in a hairsplitting exercise.

[Edited 2011-11-01 19:02:01]
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WestJet747
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:02 am

Quoting TN486 (Reply 3):
QF did not cease to exist, so whats your point?

Agreed. Their planes just didn't fly for a couple days. The airline didn't go anywhere. Plus, QantasLink still operated if you want to count that...
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PanAm788
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:05 am

"Longest continuously operated" has nothing to do with age. The date of which an airline is founded is stagnant. ie My younger brother can never become older than me. Title is a bit misleading/doesn't make sense.
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timz
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:20 am

Quoting nickofatlanta (Thread starter):
asks if Aeroflot has replaced Qantas as the longest continuously operating airline in the world

Presumably the paper's slightly tongue in cheek, but of course it's true, Qantas hasn't operated continuously any more. Had they ever had a strike?
 
aloges
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:23 am

Quoting PanAm788 (Reply 5):
My younger brother can never become older than me.

I think he'll find that a real possibility if you happen to die earlier than him.  

Which sort of proves the point: Qantas stopped operating due to a management decision, which is different from e.g. groundings due to ash clouds or strikes. So while the company is still the same as before, it can no longer boast continuous operations - the people in power decided to drop the relay baton.
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irshava
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:29 am

Yea, I thought KL was the oldest airline at 90-something years old.
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ikramerica
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:30 am

Quoting aloges (Reply 7):

It is no different than a strike. Lockouts and strikes are industrial actions. Either both count or neither do.
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:42 am

What's the definition of "continuously operating?"

Do you always have to have a plane in the air? Do you just have to have at least one plane flying per day? Per week?

Since the airspace was shut down after September 11, 2001, does that mean no US airline has been continuously operating for more than 10 years?

This is one of those things that could be debated until the cows come home (and I don't have any cows, so...).
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rfields5421
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:58 am

Quoting timz (Reply 2):
Did KLM operate during WWII?

Several KLM aircraft were interred in the UK. KLM crews and aircraft flew most of the Bristol-Lisbon route flights.

Those flights were done under the BOAC label and that is the basis of Qantas as the world's oldest "Continually operated airline".

But the 'merger' between KLM and Air France is considered the end of KLM as a separate airline by some folks. That would be the basis of a claim that Qantas is the world's oldest airline.
 
qf002
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:50 am

The airline was stilling running. Those staff who weren't part of the action were still working, and QF flights were still operating across the Tasman (via Jetconnect). The title stands I say...
 
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:56 am

besides given that the Ash Cloud grounded KL/SU aircraft for longer than the QF strikes it stands to reason that they are eliminated from the list as well as QF.

AV started in 1919 as well, and didn't have ash clouds or world wars. but the point is moot. because QF is still going until it is driven into the ground by Joyce and his staff... 
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:18 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 12):

The airline was stilling running. Those staff who weren't part of the action were still working, and QF flights were still operating across the Tasman (via Jetconnect). The title stands I say...

   You are correct. I worked as a mechanic at Northwest Airlines for 37 years. Northwest was continuously finding themselves on strike. Northwest was called "Cobra Airlines" because "Northwest Airline struck at anything."
The FAA used to call Northwest "the Non Working Airline." Northwest became the oldest airline in the United States when Delta Airlines "bought" Western Airlines. Delta then "merged" with Northwest Airline and now may be the oldest airline in the United States. KLM is now part of Air France, so Qantas is the oldest airline, work stoppage or not.
Aeroflot was originally part of Communist Russia. Did it ever get shut down.? It was originally run by the Communist government and now has been dissected into many bits. It is not the same airline. I think this discussion is silly and somewhat pointless.   
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Checo77
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:46 am

I know KL is pretty old, but OK is very old too. I have to do some research, since I remember reading somewhere that they were very very old....

Adam

The info is as follows, from CSA website: (http://www.csa.cz/en/portal/company/about_us/history.htm)

Czech Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in Europe. We have provided services to passengers since 1923.

CZECH AIRLINES was founded as Czechoslovak State Airlines on the 6th of October 1923. The first transport flight from Prague to Bratislava took place on the 29th of October the same year. On that trip, pilot Karel Brabenec flew the distance of 321 km with an Aero A-14 (Brandenburg) bi-plane.

Certainly not the oldest in the world, but very old yes!  Smile

[Edited 2011-11-01 22:51:42]
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LONGisland89
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:05 am

Quoting HomsAR (Reply 10):
Since the airspace was shut down after September 11, 2001, does that mean no US airline has been continuously operating for more than 10 years?

Exactly! What is the definition of continuously operating? I'd bet that MX personnel at AA who worked long hours around the clock following 9-11, clearing out MEL lists on hundreds of aircraft, would argue a claim that they weren't 'operating.'

If you think of it logically, any kind of work being done at an airline is conceptually critical to the operation or somehow supports it. Therefore, if anyone punched into work during the grounding and performed work to support an aviation operation (Qantas) I'd say the carrier was still operating.

Hmmmm, but on the other hand, an airline's critical function is transporting people/goods etc, so if that isn't occurring, the airline really isn't operating. Yeah, this is a tough one. My head hurts, time for bed.

[Edited 2011-11-01 23:11:36]
 
qf002
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:51 am

Quoting LONGisland89 (Reply 16):
Exactly! What is the definition of continuously operating? I'd bet that MX personnel at AA who worked long hours around the clock following 9-11, clearing out MEL lists on hundreds of aircraft, would argue a claim that they weren't 'operating.'

If you think of it logically, any kind of work being done at an airline is conceptually critical to the operation or somehow supports it. Therefore, if anyone punched into work during the grounding and performed work to support an aviation operation (Qantas) I'd say the carrier was still operating.

Hmmmm, but on the other hand, an airline's critical function is transporting people/goods etc, so if that isn't occurring, the airline really isn't operating. Yeah, this is a tough one. My head hurts, time for bed.

I'd say any airline that is in operation without extended periods of inactivity. Some of the airlines that stopped services for months and years during the wars definitely have not continuously operated, but a grounding or other shorter term period of inactivity (ie a few days to a few weeks) doesn't really count... In those situations it's not a deliberate move to stop operations for an extended period, but rather a short term issue fueled by other factors (strikes, attacks etc).
 
bralo20
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:18 am

Though not operating under the SNETA/SABENA name anymore, the foundation of Brussels Airlines (IATA: SN, Ticketcode 082) was laid back on March 31, 1919 when SNETA was founded. On May 23, 1923 SNETA was succeeded by SABENA which was succeeded by SN Brussels Airlines in 2002 and Brussels Airlines in 2007. Technically the roots of Brussels Airlines go back for 92 years.

However, the oldest airline still operating today is SAS which was founded partially through Det Danske Luftfartselskab which was established on October 29, 1918.

The roots of Air France goes back to December 25, 1918 when the Société des lignes Latécoère was founded which would become Air France later.

KLM was founded on October 7, 1919 and is today the oldest airline operating under a single name. All others were rebranded throughout the years. Though the mainline was stopped through the second worldwar parts of KLM remained operating in the Caribbean and the Antilles.

Qantas is a close second and was founded on November 16, 1920

Aeroflot is close being 3th and was founded on February 9, 1923


So the oldest airlines still operating today are:

1) SAS (as Det Danske Luftfartselskab)
2) Air France (as Société des lignes Latécoère)
3) Brussels Airlines (as SNETA / SABENA / SN Brussels Airlines)
4) KLM
5) Qantas
6) Aeroflot

If we look at airlines with their original name:

1) KLM
2) Qantas
3) Aeroflot
 
joelyboy911
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:19 am

I believe it has more to do with brands than actual companies. Company structures are changing all the time. Qantas can only really claim being the worlds longest used airline brand. Whereas KLM is the oldest airline brand still flying, though the brand's use was interrupted during the war. That's my interpretation at least.
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tu204
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:34 am

Quoting bralo20 (Reply 18):
If we look at airlines with their original name:

1) KLM
2) Qantas
3) Aeroflot

Strike Aeroflot from that list. The original name was Dobrolet for the first several years of existance  
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bralo20
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:02 pm

Quoting joelyboy911 (Reply 19):
Whereas KLM is the oldest airline brand still flying, though the brand's use was interrupted during the war. That's my interpretation at least.

They stopped flying in The Netherlands during WWII though they remained flying overseas so they have operated continuesly   But yeah, in their "home" country they didn't fly...
 
VAAengineer
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:47 pm

Quoting bralo20 (Reply 18):
So the oldest airlines still operating today are:

1) SAS (as Det Danske Luftfartselskab)
2) Air France (as Société des lignes Latécoère)
3) Brussels Airlines (as SNETA / SABENA / SN Brussels Airlines)
4) KLM
5) Qantas
6) Aeroflot

Where does AV fit in this list ?
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bralo20
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:57 pm

Quoting VAAengineer (Reply 22):

Where does AV fit in this list ?

Oops, mea culpa, forgot them, they are just behind KLM.

Founded December 5, 1919 as SCADTA.
 
A388
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:12 pm

No matter how you look at it, KLM is the oldest airline still operating. They are still run as a seperate brand under their own name and colors so they didn't cease to exist after the merger. AV is the second oldest airline in the world.

A388
 
av757
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:18 pm

Avianca Colombia has its roots from SCADTA and was founded on December 5 1919 and has operated continously for the last 91 years of its operation.

AV757
 
bralo20
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:34 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 24):
No matter how you look at it, KLM is the oldest airline still operating. They are still run as a seperate brand under their own name and colors so they didn't cease to exist after the merger. AV is the second oldest airline in the world.

Not exactly correct, they are indeed the oldest airline operating under 1 single brand. However, the oldest airline still operating today is SAS followed by Air France. Technically you can also place Brussels Airlines in between since they are the succesor of Sabena (which was the sucessor of SNETA (founded in 1919)), but between Sabena and SN Brussels Airlines there is an operational gab of some months (on paper there is continuance between both companies) so I'm willing to leave them out of it  And then you'll have KLM followed by Avianca, Qantas and Aeroflot.

But at least we can say that the oldest airline is European 
 
richierich
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:34 pm

The definition of continually operating is a bit arbitrary because there is no standard definition. Personally, I believe that to be 'continually operating', that means still functioning as an independent airline or brand within a company (as explained elsewhere, Qantas is one piece of a larger company.) I really don't think a few days - or weeks or months, God forbid - of strike activity mean that Qantas is not continually operating. They are still a solvent company and they are still in business, albeit with some operational difficulties. You have to draw the line somewhere but because there is a strike by one party or another shouldn't mean the airline forfeits its place on the 'continuously operating' list!

It is sort of like a disagreement I have with a friend of mine. When counting US states that we have been to, my definition is to have been in direct contact with the state (i.e., flyovers don't count.) However, changing planes does count even if you don't leave the airport. One step further than that, if your plane merely did a touch and go, that would suffice for me using my definition of being in a state or country. The point here is that this is a somewhat arbitrary list - what one person may consider 'continuously operating' is not the same as another person's point of view.
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n729pa
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:58 pm

I feel like the oldest Airliners forum reader after reading all that lot.....

Quoting bralo20 (Reply 18):
So the oldest airlines still operating today are:

1) SAS (as Det Danske Luftfartselskab)
2) Air France (as Société des lignes Latécoère)
3) Brussels Airlines (as SNETA / SABENA / SN Brussels Airlines)
4) KLM
5) Qantas
6) Aeroflot

If we look at airlines with their original name:

1) KLM
2) Qantas
3) Aeroflot

I think what most people look at is the 2nd list. The first one is really irrevelent. It's like me saying my grandfather was born in 1899, therefore I'm a 113 years old. 1-3 evolved and changed, regenerated, merged, over time and therefore like me today...I am not my grandfather ( in the same way SAS are not Det Danske Luftfartselskab etc), but I am linked back through my anchestry to him, but today I am myself and therefore not 113......
 
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Navigator
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:09 pm

Quoting bralo20 (Reply 18):
So the oldest airlines still operating today are:

1) SAS (as Det Danske Luftfartselskab)
2) Air France (as Société des lignes Latécoère)
3) Brussels Airlines (as SNETA / SABENA / SN Brussels Airlines)
4) KLM
5) Qantas
6) Aeroflot

If we look at airlines with their original name:

1) KLM
2) Qantas
3) Aeroflot

Finnair started as Aero OY in 1923, where do they fit in this?
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A388
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:14 pm

Quoting n729pa (Reply 28):
I think what most people look at is the 2nd list. The first one is really irrevelent. It's like me saying my grandfather was born in 1899, therefore I'm a 113 years old. 1-3 evolved and changed, regenerated, merged, over time and therefore like me today...I am not my grandfather ( in the same way SAS are not Det Danske Luftfartselskab etc), but I am linked back through my anchestry to him, but today I am myself and therefore not 113......

I agree with you as well. KLM indeed is the oldest airline around.

A388
 
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EPA001
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:24 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 30):
I agree with you as well. KLM indeed is the oldest airline around.

I could not agree more.   But it is more important how these "old airlines" are operating today. I fly KLM every week, and they are doing OK. Although they are also preparing for some tougher times to come in aviation.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:29 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 29):
Finnair started as Aero OY in 1923, where do they fit in this?

The dates of founding (not first flight) are:

1918 - Oct 29 - Det Danske Luftfartselskab - service stopped in WWII - 1946 combined with two others to create SAS (Det Norske Luftfartselskap founded 1933 - suspended service 1941-46; Svensk Interkontinental Lufttrafik - founded 1943 - first flight 1946)

1918 - Dec 25 - Societe des lignes Latecoere - 1927 rebranded as Aeropostale - 1933 combined into Air France (Operated out of Casablanca during WWII)

1919 - Oct 7 - KLM

1919 - Dec 5 - SCADTA - Merged with SACO to form Avianca in 1940

1920 - Nov 16 - Qantas

1921 - July 12 - Mexicana - suspended operations 2010

1923 - Feb 9 - Aeroflot

1923 - May 23 - Sabena - Bankruptcy Nov 7, 2001 // Feb 2002 -SN Brussels took over Sabena subsidary DAT - Nov 7, 2006 - completed takeover of Virgin Express and rebranded as Brussels Airlines (Maintained service in Beglian Congo during WWII)

1923 - Oct 6 - Czech Airlines - shutdown from 1939 to after WWII

1923 - Nov 1 - Aero O/Y - renamed Finnair in 1968 - very limited operations in WWII
 
Checo77
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:47 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 32):
The dates of founding (not first flight) are:

If we take it by which airline kept their original name, Czech Airlines ends up 4th oldest? Am I getting this right?

[Edited 2011-11-02 13:47:39]
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
EDICHC
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:55 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 32):
1923 - May 23 - Sabena - Bankruptcy Nov 7, 2001 // Feb 2002 -SN Brussels took over Sabena subsidary DAT - Nov 7, 2006 - completed takeover of Virgin Express and rebranded as Brussels Airlines (Maintained service in Beglian Congo during WWII)

So bankruptcy and dissolution of the company, no service for 3 months, take over of subsidiary (in other words a different company buying an asset of a liquidated company) then re-branding it. So no way does SN Brussels qualify as one of the oldest airlines. It's relatively new airline that bought bits of the remnants of SABENA upon it's liquidation.
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Viscount724
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:14 pm

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 34):
So bankruptcy and dissolution of the company, no service for 3 months, take over of subsidiary (in other words a different company buying an asset of a liquidated company) then re-branding it. So no way does SN Brussels qualify as one of the oldest airlines. It's relatively new airline that bought bits of the remnants of SABENA upon it's liquidation.

I agree. Just like the current LX is a new company, not a continuation of bankrupt Swissair. LX was built on the base of regional carrier Crossair, in much the same way Brussels Airlines was built on the base of Sabena's regional partner Delta Air Transport.
 
aviateur
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RE: Is Aeroflot The New Oldest Airline In The World?

Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:48 am

Quoting bralo20 (Reply 26):
Not exactly correct, they are indeed the oldest airline operating under 1 single brand. However, the oldest airline still operating today is SAS followed by Air France. Technically you can also place Brussels Airlines in between since they are the succesor of Sabena (which was the sucessor of SNETA (founded in 1919)), but between Sabena and SN Brussels Airlines there is an operational gab of some months (on paper there is continuance between both companies) so I'm willing to leave them out of it

An "operational gap?" It's a WHOLLY DIFFERENT ENTITY. Brussels Airlines is no more Sabena than an apple is an orange, I'm sorry.

That's why I hate these discussions.

The answer is KLM.
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