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vfw614
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Was Danair a proper airline?

Sat Sep 25, 2021 9:39 pm

From 1971 to 1995, "Danair" had a monopoly for domestic services in Denmark. It was a company in which three airlines held a stake, SAS, Maersk Air and Cimber.

The question is - was Danair technically an airline or merely a ticket seller?

On the one hand, it had its own ticket-stock (609-), IATA and ICAO designator (DX/DEN), which is something - at least today - only proper airlines have.

On the other hand, it did not have its own aircraft as all aircaft were chartered from the three stakeholders who operated on behalf of Danair and it only had a skeleton staff - own aircraft and staff for airline operations are two ingredients that distinguish an airline from a ticket seller aka a virtual airline. Marketing also refered to Danair as an airline, although this does not mean much, of course.

Anyone able to shed some light into this - was Danair a real airline or a virtual airline?
 
prebennorholm
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Sat Sep 25, 2021 11:25 pm

Careful here not to mix up Danair and Dan-Air. (Dan-Air was indeed a real airline in the UK, but it was sold to British Airways in 1992 for £1).

Danish Danair on the other hand was a strange construction of the monopoly days 1971 to 1995, today it would probably have been called a virtual airline.

It was fully owned by the three operators, SAS, Maersk Air and Cimber Air, SAS owned 51%.
 
flyjay123
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:22 am

Interesting question and I'm looking forward to hearing peoples views on this. I too at first thought you meant Dan -air London, which as someone else has said was a real airline. I know little about danair Denmark but it sounds like it was a virtual airline.
 
MEA-707
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 12:45 pm

It's an interesting discussion how to define an airline. I'd say an own fleet, branding and identity would be necessairy. But in this case, on the morning flight you'd get on a SAS aircraft with SAS branded cookies and coffee and on the evening flight a Maersk one so I'd say it's not a real airline.
I am even not sure how serious we have to see these American regional airlines as having an own identity. Republic Airways and Skywest fly for all major airlines, but people boarding see the mainline colours (United, Delta, American, Alaska) on the airplane. Also these fleets and crew swap around all the time. A certain Embraer 170 has been registered to Midatlantic Airways, Shuttle America and Republic Airways but always flying for United Express. Reswapping the fleets is sometimes just to trick costs, taxes and unions. Can we still see these as proper airlines even while noone thinks, tomorrow I chose to take a flight on Republic Airways ?
 
32andBelow
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:09 pm

MEA-707 wrote:
It's an interesting discussion how to define an airline. I'd say an own fleet, branding and identity would be necessairy. But in this case, on the morning flight you'd get on a SAS aircraft with SAS branded cookies and coffee and on the evening flight a Maersk one so I'd say it's not a real airline.
I am even not sure how serious we have to see these American regional airlines as having an own identity. Republic Airways and Skywest fly for all major airlines, but people boarding see the mainline colours (United, Delta, American, Alaska) on the airplane. Also these fleets and crew swap around all the time. A certain Embraer 170 has been registered to Midatlantic Airways, Shuttle America and Republic Airways but always flying for United Express. Reswapping the fleets is sometimes just to trick costs, taxes and unions. Can we still see these as proper airlines even while noone thinks, tomorrow I chose to take a flight on Republic Airways ?

Those regionals have a 121 certificate so they are definitely a real airline.
 
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vfw614
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Sun Sep 26, 2021 8:48 pm

The problem is:

Virtual airlines, unlike real airlines, do not have a IATA/ICAO designator and own ticket-stock. All of which Danair had.

And real airlines have at least some own aircraft and flights ops, something Danair lacked.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:41 am

I do remember seeing the photo of an F-27 with actual Danair titles taken at Roskilde airport in the 1970s.....
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:09 am

Can I ask what's the point of the Danair, given that the shareholder's basically the three airlines operating into Denmark? So Danair competes with its own shareholders?
 
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Polot
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:56 am

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Can I ask what's the point of the Danair, given that the shareholder's basically the three airlines operating into Denmark? So Danair competes with its own shareholders?

As mentioned in the first sentence Danair had a monopoly on the Danish domestic market. It was so the three major Danish airlines could offer domestic services without competing with each other. It ended in the mid 90s when the EU implemented its internal air liberalization and the Danair set up was no longer allowed.
 
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vfw614
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Re: Was Danair a proper airline?

Tue Sep 28, 2021 10:18 am

It mainly had to do with the fact that after WWII the Danish shareholder in SAS, DDB, had monopoly rights for domestic services in Denmark. Initially, they were exercized by SAS but when new smaller airports were built in the 1960s for which SAS lacked suitable equipment, additional players - Falck, Cimber Air - came onto the scene and started operating in a somewhat grey legal area with smaller aircraft (DH114s etc.) from new airports like Odense, Sonderborg, Esbjerg, Billund and Stauning. In 1971, after Maerk became interested in aviation and bought Falck, things were sorted out and Danair set up (in which the stakes of the three compaies varied somewhat over the years, but SAS always had the majority, IIRC).

Interestingly, after Danair was dissolved, there was only one brief attempt - by Sun Air - to compete with the incumbents in a very limited way. Of course the Storebaelt-bridge wiped out a fair amount of domestic travel air in Denmark in 1997/98, so we do not know what would have happened without that new transport alternative (in the 2000s, Norwegian gave it another try).

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