Consolidation is the word of the day in the aviation industry, as carriers react to increasing economic pressures and look to merge services and cut costs where possible.
Philippine Airlines has spearheaded the trend in the Asia Pacific region, today announcing the launch of a low fares subsidiary which – operating under the name PAL Express – will mostly serve domestic island points, headquartering itself at Cebu but also using Manila as a base.
A rival in the east Asia region could be yielded by further moves towards consolidation, as Russia’s leading carrier Aeroflot takes major steps towards merging the services of three east Russian airlines to create a single carrier.
Aeroflot has progressed its plans by agreeing to take on the state-owned majority stake in the Vladivostok-based airline Vladavia, a move that will go hand in hand with the absorption of Dalavia and Sakhalin Airlines.
Mergers and subsidiary lines may become increasingly common as the air travel industry tackles rising jet fuel costs and looks to ward off the fate of the nine carriers which have so far gone bankrupt in 2008, not least Hong Kong Oasis’ high profile collapse and immediate cancellation of flights.
Consolidation measures are not confined to the Asian aviation industry, with Flynordic acquired earlier this month by Norwegian.no and – now fully absorbed – no longer operating any independent routes.