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Airline Combos Read Like a Script

By Linda Tancs

The spate of actual and intended airline combinations reads like a Peyton Place of the transportation industry. Continental breaks it off with United. United begins courting US Air. Continental flirts with OneWorld, perhaps feeling spurned by the impending nuptials of Northwest and Delta. The OneWorld dalliance could portend the greatest development yet in this story. Consider the prospect of a Continental/British Airways merger. Could it happen? Well, continuing open skies negotiations could pave the way for transatlantic marriage. The open skies treaty, after all, opened up markets between the US and EU–allowing, for example, British Airways to fly direct from Paris to New York in lieu of re-routing via the UK. If the well-documented costs of airline operation continue to rise, then suitors will be lining up to cross the borders. Stay tuned….

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