USA Today has a very interesting map detailing airline mergers and bankruptcies. It shows how the airline industry has been transformed over the past 33 years.
In the 1970s there were 10 major airlines and it shows that by 2012 there would be only 5.
Check it out:
Some Key Dates:
- 1979 Allegheny Airlines becomes US Air
- 1982 Eastern acquire Braniff’s South American routes. Braniff shuts down
- 1989 Southwest’s annual revenue exceeds $1 billion making it a “major” airline according to the federal government
- 1990 American buys Eastern Air Lines’ Latin routes
- 1991 Eastern shuts down. Delta buys Pan Am (shuttle & Atlantic routes). Pan Am shuts down
- 1992 United buys Pan Am’s Latin & Caribbean routes
- 2001 American buys TWA, TWA name disappears from flight listings in 2001.
- 2009 Delta buys Northwest, the new airline is named Delta
- 2010 United buys Continental. The Continental name will disappear in 2012
- 2011 American files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help restructure debts & costs. AA says there will be no disruptions for its fliers.
I wonder what will be with the airline industry for 2012. Maybe we will see more consolidation? Could an AA merger with US Airways be in the plans? Only time will tell.
To see the interactive map, go to USA Today