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Do we need A Flag Carrier?

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peterk

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The question is whether Australia needs Qantas International or Virgin Australia International, or whether Australia could NOT do without a flag carrier.
In the old days, flag carriers thrived due to exclusive bilateral deals on routes.
The airline was a proud representative of the country on foreign soil. Those days are gone.
Even before the arrival of budget airlines there was downward pressure on ticket prices while fuel costs and aircraft investments soared.

Not every country has a flag carrier. Scandinavia’s SAS represents Denmark, Sweden and Norway since 1946.
Swiss, the successor of Swissair, belongs to Germany’s Lufthansa which also has a large stake in SN Air Holding,
the successor of failed Belgian flag carrier Sabena.

The Dutch still fly in blue aircraft with the KLM name but the airline is part of Air France KLM and run from Paris.
Spain’s Iberia and British Airways make up the International Airways Group.
Portugal’s TAP is state-owned and needs to be privatized under condition of a bail-out of the country.
Greece’s Aegean acquired Olympic Airlines and remains loss-making. Aer Lingus is struggling, Austrian belongs to Lufthansa.
Poland’s LOT is state-owned, Hungary’s Malev ceased operating in February 2012.
 

Mwenenzi

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Flag Carriers only exit in the minds of tabloid journalists and wayward politicians sitting on the cross benches.


International air travel agreements are still between the governments of countries or groups of countries like Eu and Aust/NZ. The airlines needs 51% local ownership to get international air rights. This is why Virgin Australia International is a (sham?) Australian majority owned airline where as Virgin Australia domestic is majority foreign owed and controlled. Aust/NZ are 1 of few (only?) governments that allow majority ownership and control of domestic airlines. For example no airline in the USA can be foreign owned/controlled. 100% own & run your airline in Asia or the middle east: not a hope!.
 
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mannej

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Aren't Alitalia's planes (or a number of) EI registered?
 

Mwenenzi

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Aren't Alitalia's planes (or a number of) EI registered?
Who owns the physical aircraft and the country it is registered in has nothing to do with anything. Many commercial aircraft are leased to airlines. Like with google, etc I guess Eire is chosen due to financial engineering to minimise tax liability.
 

The Rok

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Aren't Alitalia's planes (or a number of) EI registered?

Ireland is pretty much the global leader in aircraft leasing and has been for decades since the foundation of the now defunct GPA! Guinness Peat Aviation!

There are literally thousands of aircraft owned by leasing companies in Ireland and leased all over the world. It's mostly to do with tax, depreciation and minimal govt intrusion in the area!
 

Himeno

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What makes you think Australia even has a flag carrier? Qantas was the flag carrier, until the government sold it.

What makes a "Flag Carrier" a flag carrier? Being owned by the government? The government being able to use the airlines assets when needed?
America doesn't have any flag carriers, yet US airlines are required to maintain a part of their fleet for government use (eg, flying US troops to hot spots) as needed.
 
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markis10

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What makes you think Australia even has a flag carrier? Qantas was the flag carrier, until the government sold it.

There are two accepted definitions of a flag carrier, the first is in Article 17 of the Chicago convention, the second is the definition that it is either owned or was owned by the government, Qantas ticks all boxes regardless of the definition.
 

harvyk

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There are two accepted definitions of a flag carrier, the first is in Article 17 of the Chicago convention, the second is the definition that it is either owned or was owned by the government, Qantas ticks all boxes regardless of the definition.

Article 17 - Aircraft have the nationality of the State in which they are registered.

I'd have thought article 17 covered every aircraft in the world.

I was under the impression that the flag carrier had something to do with been the offical airline for gov't travel, and must make a/c available for gov't purposes if required.
 

markis10

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Article 17 - Aircraft have the nationality of the State in which they are registered.

I'd have thought article 17 covered every aircraft in the world.

I was under the impression that the flag carrier had something to do with been the offical airline for gov't travel, and must make a/c available for gov't purposes if required.

No, it does not cover every aircraft in the world, but does cover many aircraft and most ships. In the US they take article 17 and further resolve it to designate carriers who have international rights but are registered in the US.
 

JohnK

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I think so.

It feels great to step in to a Qantas aircraft returning from overseas. It feels like I am going home. I don't feel the same on an SQ aircraft.

I have never flown Virgin Australia internationally but I don't consider them Australian anyway.
 
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