Friday, June 26, 2009

Republic & Lufthansa

We’ve been pondering the latest news of acquisitions by Republic Airways (U.S.) and Lufthansa (Germany). And we really haven’t come up with any brilliant commentary about whether their recent acquisitions hold portent for the future of air travel, or are just signs of a couple of successful (?) companies growing while the cherry picking is good.

Just for the record, here are the airlines that Lufthansa owns (or at least will probably own once regulatory approval is granted), plus a couple of others that Lufthansa has an ownership percentage in.

  • Lufthansa
  • bmi
  • Brussels
  • Austrian
  • Eurowings
  • Swiss
  • Air Dolomiti
  • Germanwings
  • Sun Express 50%
  • jetBlue 19%
  • Luxair 13%

Republic’s list reads like this. Note that Republic hasn’t operated any planes under its own name. Yet.
  • Frontier
  • Midwest
  • Republic Airlines (operating flights for US Airways Express, Midwest Connect)
  • Chautauqua (operating flights for AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express, US Airways Express)
  • Shuttle America (operating flights for Delta Connection, United Express, Mokulele Airlines)

Just focusing on the U.S. airline landscape, back on April 15 we said, “Here’s our only slightly tongue-in-cheek prediction: Five years from now the U.S. will have five dominant airlines – Southwest, jetBlue, Alaska, and two other airlines created from some combination/merger/bankruptcy of the existing five majors.” But we certainly are far from being airline experts.

Yesterday (6/25), Swelblog (who does know something about the airline industry) wrote: “The top domestic airlines of tomorrow might be Southwest, jetBlue, Republic and maybe two of the five current legacy carriers.”