Monday Insight – October 4, 2021

Start-Up Airlines:
There’s A Difference Between “Then” And Now

Lots of media coverage regarding start-ups Avelo and Breeze.

Naturally what comes to mind is, well, whether these carriers are out of their minds. New airlines have had a checkered history. And here we are in the middle of a pandemic, too.

Today Is Not The Same Air Transportation System. To do a reality check, we looked at a review Boyd Group International did a few years ago, recounting a couple dozen of the major start-up fiascos since airline deregulation in 1978. Fact is that other than airplanes being involved, that’s where the similarities end with today’s environment.

Yikes… anybody remember Air One, or UltrAir, or Air South? Or, how about Air Niagara? Or about 25 more? There’s a whole lot of financial wreckage to navigate. Between roughly 1979 and 1999, there was no shortage of fruitcake ideas and some really numbskull characters here and there. But that era is over.

The fact is that the air transportation system today is entirely different from when these and other sure-fire winners were burning up moire cash than jet fuel. Today, there isn’t a lot of easy money to be had. There aren’t deserts full of cheap almost ready to fly airliners, anymore. And most of the squirrels are gone.

The key difference is today we’re dealing with highly-experienced management – with track records of accurately gauging new trends and establishing successful airline ventures, instead of a history of putting businesses into Chapter 7 court proceedings.

Click here for some fun if irreverent reading.  Feel free to download, too. Clear some time, as it’s a brief review of each of over thirty aviation misfires.

This compendium is by no means a complete list of the attempts at starting new airlines since 1978, but includes the ones that represent what was often the pinnacle of bad planning, inept management, and business plans that might have fared better in a landfill.

And, if you have a moment, let us know your thoughts.

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