Table: A Glut of Airlines
The Continent has too many airlines, and a shakeout is looming
British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France all combine large home markets with strong hubs and transatlantic alliances.
KLM, Alitalia, and Iberia. KLM has a strong transatlantic alliance with Northwest, but merger efforts with Alitalia and BA have collapsed. Alitalia and Iberia both remain under government control.
Swissair is pulling back from taking large minority stakes in small airlines such as Belgium's Sabena and Portugal's TAP, both in trouble. Swissair is likely to hook up with one of Europe's big three, probably BA and its One World alliance with American Airlines.
Low-cost carriers such as Ryan Air and easyJet are expanding fast. But they are largely confined to the British Isles and offer service to secondary airports.