An airline is a company dedicated to the transport of passengers or cargo and in some cases, animals by plane. The world of airlines is complex. There are companies that are dedicated to transport passengers and cargo on a regular basis, while there are also other companies that transport their customers or groups of customers in the timely manner agreed between them. These last companies are called "charter".
In the case of airlines that are dedicated only to cargo like FedEx, operate with a fixed flight schedule, others operate as appropriate to the customers who hire them. Some airlines have been dedicated to the transport of animals, as happened in Kentucky, United States, from where operated one that was dedicated to transporting horses for international horse racing events.
Many airlines have shareholding in the local government, they are the so-called "flagged" or "flag lines" that generally have the monopoly of local flights. Some countries, such as Japan, have more than one "standard bearer" in the case of Japan All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines. For some countries, having a national airline has been very expensive, such as Nigeria (Nigeria Airways), the Dominican Republic (Dominican Aviation, Dominican ATA), Peru (Peruvian Airlines, AeroPerÃº), TAME in Ecuador, Venezuela where Viasa operated and Avensa faced economic problems as a substitute for Viasa. A "flag line" does not necessarily have to be a fully public company, being mixed companies where the State maintains a high participation, for example the case of AerolÃneas Argentinas, in which the State owned around 10% of the shareholding before its re-nationalization.
Many flag airlines have been privatized and the market has been liberalized. This has led to the emergence of alternatives to traditional airlines, as has happened among other sites in Spain, where Iberia was privatized and competitors such as Air Europa, Spanair and Air Plus Comet emerged. It is also the case of Peru with the airline Peruvian Airlines, where the air market was until a few years ago dominated by Lan Peru and now there are many competing companies. However, in certain countries despite the liberalization of air transport traditional companies maintain a situation of absolute dominance of the market, as is the case of Avianca in Colombia, Air France in France, LAN Airlines in Chile or Alitalia in Italy and due to the aggressive policies they employ, the scarce competition they have tends to disappear. Another flag airline was Viasa in Venezuela, but it was privatized in favor of Spanish company Iberia, which dismantled the company. Now, the Venezuelan State has decided to bet on Conviasa, which gradually expects to position in the national and Ibero-American air market. Similarly, the airline Aeropostal, recently nationalized, and the nascent SBA Airlines that aims to accelerate its integration into the Latin American market with service across Europe.
In general, airlines can be classified according to the size of the network of routes they operate and their frequencies:
Regional airlines: operate medium and low capacity aircraft, on short routes or with low demand, or with high frequencies. Generally they only carry out local and rarely international flights, for example we can mention Alaska Central Express, Alpine Air Express, etc. Most low-cost airlines are included in this group.
Network Airlines: They operate a large fleet with many types of aircraft of various sizes, from small regional aircraft to jumbos for transcontinental flights. They are characterized by a network that combines long haul flights flying from medium and short distance, depending on the model of hubs. Most of the flag and traditional airlines are included in this type.
Large-scale airlines: They are mainly dedicated to long-duration flights or high density flights between the main international airports in the world, and in some cases they cover destinations on each of the continents, with the exception of Antarctica. Its fleets are characterized by having large capacity aircraft. Examples are Emirates, United Airlines, Singapore Airlines, American Airlines, Avianca Virgin Atlantic, LAN Airlines (now LATAM) or the former BOAC.
It is difficult to classify many airlines in a specific group, since according to their evolution they could belong to several. Many large-scale or network carriers franchise their brand to regional airlines to cover their local flight network, especially with planes of less than 100 seats.
Hong Kong Airlines Ltd., IATA: HX is an airline based in Hong Kong, with headquarters in Tung Chung and its main hub at the international airport of Hong Kong. This airline was founded in 2006. Based in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Airlines network currently covers nearly 30 regional cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Sanya, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa. Their current fleet of passenger aircraft consists of 25 aircraft, which include three Airbus A330-300s, nine Airbus A330-200 and eight A320s, with modern flight entertainment systems and an average age of 3 years in February 2015. Their cargo fleet consists of five Airbus A330-200F.
LOT Charters is a Polish charter airline based in Warsaw and a subsidiary of LOT Polish Airlines. It was founded in 2009 and operates charter flights on behalf of tour operators. LOT Charters has not had its own fleet since 2015, after the last Boeing 737-400 was handed over to its parent company, and since then planes have been used by the same company. In the meantime, the fleet comprised six machines of this type.
Trans States Airlines was a United States regional airline headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri. The company ranks 13th in the list of all regional carriers in the country and operates flights under the partnership agreements with United Airlines - under the brand name) United Express and US Airways - under the brand US Airways Express. Trans States Airlines was founded in 1982 under the name Resort Air and operated under a code share agreement with Trans World Airlines, performing passenger flights from a transit hub at Lambert St. Louis International Airport under the trans World Express brand. In 1989, the airline changed its name to the current Trans States Airlines.
Coyne Airways was founded and began operating in 1994. Initially, they specialized in charter flights to the Commonwealth of Independent States (most of the former republics of the Soviet Union). In 1997, they initiated scheduled cargo flights to the Caspian Sea, to Baku, and later also to Tbilisi, Aktau, Atyrau and Uralsk. From December, this region is served by Boeing 747-400F from London Stansted and Cologne to Tbilisi, from where smaller aircraft deliver cargo in the region.
Republic Express Airlines (PT Republic Express) is a cargo airline based in Indonesia and owned by the RPX Group. The airline flies the cities of Jakarta, Surabaya, Balikpapan, Makassar, Singapore and Surakarta. Since 1985, RPX has a license from Federal Express to operate in Indonesia. Republic Express Airlines was founded in 2001 by PT Repex Wanhana. The company is part of RPX holding, an extensive transport and logistics company. Republic Express Airlines operates scheduled flights to: (summer 2007) Balikpapan, Jakarta. The fleet of Republic Express Airlines consists of: (December 2007) 1 Boeing B737-200C.
La Costeña is a regional airline based in Managua, Nicaragua, which operates daily connections with: Tegucigalpa, Corn Island, San Carlos, Bluefields, Bonanza, Ometepe, Rosita, Puerto Cabezas, Siuna and San Juan de Nicaragua. The airline started in November 1999 and has 140 employees (September 2011). It was part of the Taca Group and later this group was acquired, for the most part, by the Avianca Group, becoming a strategic Alliance called AviancaTaca. In 2012 it was announced that the Taca brand would change its name to Avianca. Currently, the group of airlines that make up Avianca Holding make it the second largest and most important airline in Latin America, making a presence in the vast majority of the countries of the American continent and the European continent.