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European airlines: 'same brand, different operator' model is growing

Recent years have seen the proliferation of the multi-platform approach by European airline groups to managing a single airline brand. This is not a new model, but it seems to have become more widely adopted. This includes single brand airline groups with multiple operating subsidiaries and single brands within multi brand groups that spread the operation of the brand across more than one platform.

Leading examples of this include Norwegian, Eurowings and LEVEL. There are a number of reasons for following this trend, with each airline or group having a different motivation.

Circumventing restrictions on traffic rights; gaining access to lower labour costs; accelerating the growth of the brand; creating alternative growth platforms; minimising aircraft operating costs and coping with cultural issues within a group have all led to airlines using a range of production platforms to operate a single brand. Brexit has added another reason, specifically for airlines such as Ryanair, Wizz Air and easyJet.

This report looks at some examples of the multi-platform approach by European airline brands and the reasons for doing so.

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