Airline Lifespan – Part I

timeline_enEuropair’s team has decided to have a look at the history of the main passenger airlines based in our country Spain.

Many of them have marked an era in the tourism and aeronautical industries. The following infographic reflects 90 years of Spanish airline history and evolution.

In the history of Spanish aviation, a total of 63 airlines (79%) have ceased their activity, for various reasons. The defunct airlines had an average lifespan of about 8 years. However, if we measure the average from the 1980s to today, it’s 6 years. If we do the same from the year 2000, the average goes down to 4.  And from 2006 it continues to drop, to approximately 3 years of operation.

Infographic (download): each coloured line marks the lifespan of an airline that is currently operating. The year in which an airline went out of business is indicated by a grey point on the graph, while the lower part shows the list of defunct airlines, in order of the number of active years.

A short history

There are not many Spanish airlines still in activity that have attained adulthood. Iberia will be 90 this year and has established itself as our country’s oldest airline. The Canary Islands airline NAYSA is 48 years old, followed by Majorca’s Air Europa, and Madrid’s Swiftair, who will both be 31. Binter Canarias, Air Nostrum and Aeronova (the future Air Europa Express) are the other young Spanish airlines, aged 28, 23 and 21 respectively. Amongst others, Vueling, Albastar and Volotea are the adolescent airlines in Spanish aviation’s history, all having been created after the year 2000.

We shouldn’t forget important airlines who have fallen by the wayside, such as Aviaco, Spantax and Spanair. They aren’t the only ones. Others – with smaller fleets and route volumes – were also affected by various crises and found themselves unable to take off once more.

Fortunately, the last few years have seen the proliferation of new national airlines (low-cost, subsidiaries, including long-haul) embarking on the aviation and passenger transport adventure.

What’s happening in other countries? Is our ratio especially low when compared to those of other European countries? The second part of this study will focus on analysis of the European success ratio.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish

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