lightmac
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Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:12 pm

What airlines are spin-offs from other non-aviation-related companies?
Eurowings could be called the ex-"dry-wall-manufacturer-airline", because the Knauf Corporation, a famous maker of dry-walls and gypsum board, helped grow that airline originally.
While many airlines were set up by (national and regional) governments, some were also set up by shipping companies (Maersk, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd come to mind...) or aircraft manufacturers (United/Boeing, Junkers/Lufthansa) or of course travel/holiday companies. Some airlines were set up by armed forces (such as TAME).
But another example for a non-aviation company setting up an airline would be Augsburg Airways, once set up by Haindl Paper Mills. Are there any other examples?
 
anshabhi
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 1:55 pm

GoAir, which was established by Wadia group. Other examples would include Vistara which is a JV of Tata Sons and SIA, and AirAsia India which is again a JV between Tata and AirAsia.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:24 pm

Davies and Newman in London were a brokerage house that dealt in shipping as well as other industries. They set up an airline using secondhand piston aircraft from Southend in 1953 for cargo and passenger flights. Their DC -3 was well-loved.

After a move into London Gatwick in 1960, they eventually joined the jet age with de Havilland Comets. The airline was by now called Dan-Air London, and the rest is history as they say....

The Cayzer family who controlled British and Commonwealth Shipping had similar ideas. They eventually hired Freddie Laker and merged his company with their own fledgling airline to form BUA, which eventually became British Caledonian
 
rorymaxwell
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:25 pm

Asiana is division of Kumho Group, most famous for tyres, while Korean Air is a division of Hanjin Shipping and Eva Air is part of the Evergreen shipping group. Air India was founded by Tata Group and FlyBe was orginally, as Jersey European, an offshoot of Walker Steel. Stobart Air is, obviously, a division of the Stobart trucking organisation. Starflyer was originally founded by a group of Japanese companies with operations in northern Kyushu, including Nissan. Wasn't the reboot of Swiss, following the Swissair collapse, funded by major Swiss corporations (Nestle, Roche, UBS...) keen to maintain routes from Zurich?

And, of course, Cathay Pacific is a division of the Swire Group.
 
rorymaxwell
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:30 pm

Oh, and Virgin Atlantic was originally part of a group that included a record company, condom manufacture and nightclubs.
 
rorymaxwell
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:33 pm

Midwest Express, since absorbed by Republic, was set up by Kimberly-Clark (paper).
 
jbooser
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:47 pm

Spirit originally started as Clippert Trucking Company in 1964.
 
flyjay123
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:54 pm

Thomson Corporation (Canada) was originally an information and Media company, once owning The Times and Scotsman among other publication's in the US/Canada, before taking over Universal Sky tours/Euravia in 1965, and re-naming the airline Brittania Airways.
 
superjeff
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:56 pm

I think if you go far enough back, you'll see this in a lot of places. United in the U.S. was originally set up by the Boeing company, and Western Air Lines (now part of Delta) was owned by General Motors (actually, I think, but am not sure, that Eastern Air Lines was also owned by GM in the beginning).
 
flyjay123
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:04 pm

Wasn't Easyjet's founder Stellios backed by his family's shipping empire?
 
gr8slvrflt
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:39 pm

American, in the 1930s, was controlled by Avco which was owned by E. L. Cord of Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg fame. Avco also controlled Lycoming and Stinson ~
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
gr8slvrflt
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 3:42 pm

Yes, Eastern was controlled and long associated with GM. GM’s chief stylist, Harley Earl, later designed Eastern interiors ~
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
5NFGS
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:20 pm

Arik Air of Nigeria was founded by Ojemai Holdings.
The HoldCo is principally known for their subsidiary Rockson Engineering.
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LupineChemist
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:30 pm

Air Europa is owned by Globalia which is a general travel company.
 
Virtual737
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:51 pm

United Airlines is owned by United Continental Holdings who are better known for breaking guitars.
 
loranfair
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:19 pm

I believe the CEO of United Continental is Pete Townsend. :rotfl:
Seriously, Northeast was originally a joint venture between Boston and Maine and Central Vermont Railroads. :rotfl:
 
jcleal
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:27 pm

Aeromexico was own by City Group a bank, them by Grupo Lala a food company, now is basically part of Delta.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:35 pm

lightmac wrote:
What airlines are spin-offs from other non-aviation-related companies?...


Brockway Glass acquired Air North in 1984 or 85 and then merged Crown AIrways into a new identity known as Brockway Air. The glass company survives today as Owens-Brockway, but the airline bounced around quite a bit, ultimately serving TWA at JFK and BOS (IIRC).

This was the only Brockway Air themed photo that I could find in this site's database:

https://www.airliners.net/photo/Brockway ... Yv/Q%3D%3D
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
ELBOB
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:42 pm

rorymaxwell wrote:
FlyBe was orginally, as Jersey European, an offshoot of Walker Steel. .


Not quite. Jersey European was formed following a business parnership between Express Air Services and the remnants of Intra Airways. It was later bought by the Walker Group, who had their own Blackpool airline called Spacegrand. Despite common myth JEA and Spacegrand were never merged, the latter remained the holding company for Walker's aviation interests under various names.

Jersey European is FlyBE Ltd and Spacegrand is now FlyBE Group PLC . Important distinction in terms of stakeholders.
 
Cunard
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:18 pm

In 1960 the British shipping company CUNARD took a controlling stake in British Eagle Airways renaming it Cunard Eagle Airways.

Transatlantic operations of Cunard Eagle Airways and it's two B707 aircraft were absorbed into a operation when in 1962 The Cunard Line partnered with BOAC to form the short lived BOAC-CUNARD.

In 1962 after Cunard withdrew it's ownership Cunard Eagle Airways reverted back to it's original name of British Eagle Airways.

The partnership between BOAC and CUNARD ended in 1966.

Court Line was a shipping company that formed Autair in the early 1960's which later became to be Court Line a British IT airline that famously went out of business in the summer of 1974.
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ACCS300
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:52 pm

Canadian Pacific Airlines, later CP Air ( and back to Canadian Pacific before it was taken over by Pacific Western in 1987 ) was an offshoot of the Canadian Pacific Railway and started with a few bush-pilots in the 1940's.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:54 pm

Cunard wrote:
In 1960 the British shipping company CUNARD took a controlling stake in British Eagle Airways renaming it Cunard Eagle Airways.


Thank you! Your reply prompted another airline that had been sitting in-the-back-of-my-mind, but I couldn't remember the name until now.

Matson Airlines (also known as Matson LInes) started a DC-4 operation between HNL and the west coast just after World War II. It was an outgrowth of Matson Navigation which started hauling supplies to Hawaii and bringing sugar back to the mainland around 1900 or so. Slow growth eventually lead to tourism and Matson started cruises to Hawaii and even built or bought hotels in Honolulu. But the airline didn't last long as it never secured the necessary permits from the CAB.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
Gr8Circle
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:37 pm

Kingfisher Airlines, which no longer exists, was started by a group which was into breweries and liquor......Kingfisher beer was one of their biggest brands and the name was extended to the airline...
 
MO11
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:56 am

FlyHossD wrote:
lightmac wrote:
What airlines are spin-offs from other non-aviation-related companies?...


Brockway Glass acquired Air North in 1984 or 85 and then merged Crown AIrways into a new identity known as Brockway Air. The glass company survives today as Owens-Brockway, but the airline bounced around quite a bit, ultimately serving TWA at JFK and BOS (IIRC).




Brockway Glass acquired Clinton Aero in June 1984 and changed its name to Brockway Air. A few months later, it acquired Air North, which was merged into Brockway. When Owens-Illinois bought Brockway, it wanted to exit the airline business, so Brockway was sold to Metro Airlines. Crown remained independent the entire time, and was sold to airline management in 1990, before Mesa Airlines acquired some of its assets in 1994.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:20 am

Qualifying under the OP's question, I would name as examples:

1. Anglo-American (a major conglomerate) through various subsidiaries controls 32.51 percent of Airlink.
2. The Swire family has owned or been the largest shareholder of Cathay Pacific since 1948 (which is why the Swire flag adorns Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon aircraft). Although based in London, their main nexus of operations has historically been Hong Kong.
3. UPS Airlines: this may sound a bit odd, but UPS is more like a trucking company with an airline, as UPS has existed since 1907. (FedEx, by contrast, was founded as an airline with a trucking division.) The airline on its own AOC was founded in 1988.
4. Now defunct, Emery Worldwide was originally a division of Consolidated Freightways, later Con-Way Freight.
5. Southern Air Transport (not to be confused with Southern Air, who later acquired it)...was a longtime CIA front company. (Western Global may serve this role today, albeit a privately-owned airline.)
6. Thomas Cook's airline AOCs...although through various iterations, are owned by a company whose roots go back to 1841.
7. Asiana Airlines, Air Seoul, and Air Busan...all with major stakes by the Kumho Group (now Kumho Asiana Group), a major South Korean manufacturing conglomerate (Kumho Asiana owns 45 percent of the three).
 
seanpmassey
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:46 am

For a while, Sun Country was owned by Cambria, which is a company that makes kitchen counters.
 
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idp5601
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Re: Corporations behind airlines

Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:52 am

Philippine Airlines is owned by a conglomerate (LT Group) with interests in liquor, breweries, beverages, tobacco, banking, and to a lesser extent sugar milling.

Cebu Pacific, on the other hand, is owned by an even bigger group (JG Summit) which is involved with food manufacturing, petrochemicals, retail, real estate, banking, hospitality, and content publishing.

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