Do regional airlines in Eastern Europe have the right to survive in the European single sky environment?
The European aviation market can be characterised by extreme growth and turbulence ever since the markets were deregulated and low cost carriers emerged on the continent. Initially the biggest toll was paid by main legacy carriers when low costs emerged on trunk routes, which lead to the bankruptcy of Sabena, Swiss airlines and Spanair. However, once big legacy carriers started merging and creating more alliances, sustainability was once again reached. Despite this, as low cost carriers entered the Eastern-European market and looked to stimulate even smaller regional routes, smaller carriers started to suffer. This article is assessing the status quo of the current European regional aviation, highlighting the recent trends and ultimately coming to a conclusion that regional airlines can be sustainable provided that certain key criteria have been met.