It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that airlines around the world are in trouble since the global pandemic has decimated air travel demand. Whether in the US, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa or Oceania, airlines have been hard hit by the pandemic.

While trans-border mergers are difficult, domestic mergers are moving ahead, with the most recent example the Korean Air acquisition of Asiana in South Korea. With both carriers operating in the same country, under the same regulatory regime, the merger will be easier than a potential cross-border situation with different financial and regulatory authorities.

The question facing several troubled airlines in Asia, Latin America and Europe is how they will survive without cross-border consolidation, and whether stronger alliances and anti-trust exempt codeshares could become an alternative to out and out mergers.

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