For many countries around the World, whether big or small, having and operating an airline company is (was) a source and symbol of pride, reputation, and power and these airline companies are called as “Flag Carrier Airlines”.
After World War II, when European Colonies became independent, one of the first thing that these countries wanted was to create an airline company and to wave their flag in the sky.
In the past, flag carrier airlines were much more important than today. To present the country’s flag in an international busy airport (like JFK, London Stansed…) were more important than profit. Also these companies have government support behind which makes them less vulnerable when compared to other airline companies.
Today many flag carrier companies were privatized. For example, Austrian Airlines of Austria and Swiss Air of Switzerland were bought by Lufthansa and Lufthansa operates these two airline companies.
On the other hand, Aerolineas Argentinas is still a state-owned company of Argentina. Iran Air and Qatar Airways are another state-owned airline companies of Iran and Qatar.
Whether state-owned or privatized, flag carriers are symbols in aviation. Let’s look at some of these companies.
Air Canada – Canada
Alitalia – Italia (Alitalia ceased operations on October 15)
Turkish Airlines – Turkey
Lufthansa – Germany
Tarom – Romania
Luxair – Luxemburg
Aeromexico – Mexico
Scandinavian Airlines – Denmark + Norway + Sweden Joint Venture
Egypt Air – Egypt
Air China – China
Finnair – Finland
Air France – France
Iran Air – Iran
Air Astana – Kazakhstan
Air Baltic – Latvia
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