Major international airlines that are now defunct

With the grounding of Vijay Mallya-owned Kingfisher Airlines, we look at a selective list of leading aircraft carriers that once flew services worldwide, only to later cease operations due to several issues...

Indian Airlines
Pics/AFP

Indian Airlines: This Delhi-based air carrier founded in 1953 focused primarily on domestic routes, along with several international services to neighbouring countries in Asia. It was state-owned, and was administered by the Ministry of Civil Aviation making it one of the two flag carriers of India, the other being Air India. the airline was rebranded as Indian for advertising purposes as a part of a program to revamp its image in preparation for an initial public offering (IPO). It officially merged into Air India on 27 February 2011. During its operation the air carrier grabbed headlines due to many incidents the most recent one being the hijacking of the Flight 814 on 24 December 1999, which landed in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Braniff Airways: This American airline operated from 1928 to 1982 with routes that were primarily in the midwestern and southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Braniff expanded to Asia and Europe in the late 1970s. Its flight crew stood out because of their bright Pucci-designed uniforms and the planes were even pained in bright colours by modern artist Alexander Calder. The airline folded in May 1982 mainly due to high fuel prices and the Airline Deregulation Act of December 1978 rendered it uncompetitive. Two later airlines used the Braniff name: the Hyatt Hotels-backed Braniff, Inc. in 1984-89, and Braniff International Airlines, Inc. in 1991-92.

Air Australia Airways: This Australian airline founded in 2008, was the sister concern of Strategic Airlines Pty Ltd, which flew domestic and international scheduled passenger flights. Strategic Aviation flew charter flights using the Air Australia fleet or other leased aircraft. Both companies had their head office in Hendra, Brisbane, Australia. All Air Australia flights were halted and placed into voluntary administration on 17th February 2012 and the company went into liquidation on March the same year.

Pan American World Airways

Pan American World Airways: Commonly known as Pan Am, it was largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until its collapse on December 4, 1991. Initially started as a scheduled air mail and passenger service, it became a major company credited with many innovations that shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet aircraft, jumbo jets, and computerized reservation systems. Pan Am was also a founding member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global airline industry association. It was one of the cultural icons of the 20th century due to it's easily recognisable blue logo and was the unofficial flag carrier of the United States. Numerous issues plagued the airline since the early 70s and it went bankrupt on January 8, 1991 largely due to the skyrocketing fuel prices during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91 that severely depressed global economic activity.

Aero Asia International: Founded in 1993, in Karachi, Pakistan and commonly known as AeroAsia, it was the largest private international airline. The Aero Asia started its operations as a scheduled passenger and cargo air service to its domestic and international destinations in Gulf states and was noted as a Low-cost carrier and wide usage of the jet aircraft and jumbo jets. It was acquired by the British Regal Group from its owners, the Tabani Group of Investors in 2006, but soon failed to provide safety guidelines to its customers. The managerial, corporate management issues, and financial problems caused to AeroAsia led to its suspension by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on 10 May 2007, which ultimately led to its closure the same year.

KrasAir: This Russian airline also known as Krasnoyarsk Airlines operated scheduled regional and international passenger services, freight transport, cargo handling and charter services from the main base is Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo Airport, as part of AiRUnion alliance. After suffering a liquidity crisis after a string of operational shutdowns, administrative and strikes, the company ceased operations in October 2008.

Ansett Australia: This major Australian airline group founded in 1936 was alternatively named Ansett-ANA. It flew domestically within Australia and from the 1990s to destinations in Asia. Placed into administration in 2001 after suffering financial collapse, Ansett Australia underwent subsequent organised liquidation in 2002, subject to deed of company arrangement.

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