The 28 airlines I have flown- that have gone

I was shocked to discover that of the 82 airlines I have flown, 28 are no longer in business! Who are they and what happened?

Air Australia (2012) undercapitalised and badly planned, meant this carrier flew for only 3 months

Aloha Airlines (2008) September 11, a contracting Japanese economy, intense competition between four airlines across Hawaii all impacted on Aloha

Ansett (2001) I flew this airline 50 times before their Air New Zealand owners shut them down

Australian Airlines (1993 and 2006) merged into Qantas, revived as a leisure brand and then scrapped in favour of Jetstar

bmibaby (2012) shut down after parent company bmi was absorbed by IAG owners of British and Iberia

BOAC (1974) merged with BEA to become British Airways

1980's Logo

1980's Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

British European (1974) merged with BOAC to become British Airways

Compass (1991) ran out of cash amidst claims of unfair competition and collusion. The airline was grounded days before Christmas causing chaos

Continental (2011) merged with United

East West (1993) after their takeover by Ansett, East West embarked on a steady downward decline. I rang once to book a ticket and the agent said “we used to be an airline

Hazelton (2001) bought by Ansett months before it collapsed. Hazelton was folded into Regional Express

Impulse (2001) a successful competitor in eastern Australia – not sure if they showed a profit. It was taken over by Qantas

Kendell (2001) became Regional Express after owner Ansett collapsed

Malev (2012) collapsed after European authorities demanded the carrier repay  “illegal” subsidies.

Nigeria Airways (2003)  killed by mis-management, corruption, and overstaffing and a poor safety record. Its successor Virgin Nigeria/Air Nigeria lasted only a few years

Northwest (2010) merged with Delta

Origin Pacific (2006) the loss of international feeder services and contracts to fly for Jetconnect sounded a deathknell for this delightful carrier

OzJet (2006, 2009, 2012) conceived as a low cost airline, the carrier became a business class only operator and then a charter operator

Pan Am (1991) I celebrated my 7th Birthday on my first ever 747- Pan Am from Hong Kong to Sydney in 1971. The venerable airline didn’t make it after US Arline deregulation and  a disastrous merger with National

Skyeurope Airlines (2009) One of the airline’s strategies was to sell tickets in 2006 for minus ten euro!! The company was never profitable and in 2009  it owed two Euro for every Euro in assets

Swissair (2002) after massive expansion, the post 2001 airline environnent, saw this airline implode resulting in its grounding

Virgin Blue/Pacific Blue/V Australia (2011) now Virgin Australia


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  1. Surprised not to see Sabena in there. I still have an air sickness bag from them 🙂 A weird hobby I used to have. Have also got one for Bulgarian airlines. I can add British Calendonian in there as well.

  2. Virgin Blue / Pacific Blue / V Australia haven’t exactly gone… There were all subsidiaries of Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd (now named Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd), but have been rebranded as one airline.

    Though, if you concede that the rebranding and introduction of a level of service akin to other full service airlines, you could conclude that Virgin Blue is “gone.”

    However, if you did that then you may as well consider most of the US-based airlines as “gone” due to the significant degradation in quality of service from what they used to be.

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