Which airlines launched, failed or merged during 2020
Such has been the magnitude of the pandemic impact on air travel demand that the airline industry has to some extent been in a stasis since March - and with it so too has much of the normal airline failures, mergers and start-up activity.
A slowdown in the appetite for start-ups is hardly surprising given the paucity in air travel demand, which remains stymied by ongoing restrictions and quarantines. Likewise, simply surviving the crisis has been the focus for airlines meaning there is little time or the financial wherewithal to pursue acquisitions.
The relatively small number of airline failures is perhaps more counter-intuitive given the tough climate. It is though explained by the unprecedented levels of financial support governments have provided to keep carriers on life support through the crisis.
As a result much of the activity during 2020 took place or was in motion before the pandemic struck.