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Why Are So Many Airlines Going Bankrupt?

by SharonKurheg

Over time, there have been plenty of airlines that have either merged with, or been taken over by others. People Express merged with Continental (which later got taken over by United). AmericaWest merged with U.S. Air (which was later taken over by American) TWA was also acquired by American, while Northwest Orient was taken over by Delta.

All of those, and more, came about relatively slowly, over the decades. Yet since 2017, years, several airlines, mainly European ones, have wound up declaring bankruptcy. Thomas Cook Airlines is just the latest in a long but very recent line of airline failures. Adria. Aigle Azur. Airberlin. Cobalt. Monarch. Wow. XL Airways.

It can lead you to ask the question: why are so many airlines going bankrupt? Welp, here’s an explanation:

You might ask, “But wait, wasn’t Thomas Cook also a travel agent?” Yes, they were. They even owned some of their own resorts and hotels. But it was the airline that made most of their revenue, and instead of focusing on lower-cost online booking, they also had a lot of brick-and-mortar storefronts that had high rent. They just couldn’t keep up with their costs.

Anyway, you’d probably never think that location, season and types of passengers would have that much of an impact on airlines, but I guess they do. Learn something new every day.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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