Air Transport World

Let them merge.(Editorial)(Air France)(KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)

After many false starts, it looks as if the long-anticipated consolidation among Europe's former flag carriers finally may be getting underway. The recent announcement by Air France and KLM that they intend to join forces could set off a chain reaction among competitors to follow suit or risk being left at the altar, as occurred in the US after United Airlines purchased Pan Am's Pacific Division in the mid-1980s.

With so many applauding this first step, it seems churlish to point out that airline mergers have an uneven record. For every Qantas-Australian there is an Air New Zealand-Ansett. As AF and KLM begin arguing their case before the European Commission this month, American Airlines will be folding up much of what remains of TWA's St. …

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