While four airlines command an 85 per cent share of the domestic air transport market in the United States, in Europe a corresponding share of the market is shared by 50 airlines. That, essentially, explains why a wave of airline consolidations is expected to sweep over the continent. The other reason is the weak profitability of airlines.
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A look at Finnair's quest for a partner
The rules of the air transport sector have been re-moulded following the emergence of low-cost airlines, which has prompted loss-making airlines with heavy organisational structures to seek consolidation or to suspend their operations altogether.