Air Transport


The term flag carrier applies to a company involved in transportation, which is usually either an airline or a shipping company that is registered in a specific country. Such carriers are usually either state-run, state-owned or state-designated companies. In certain instances, they may be organisations with special rights or privileges accorded by that government. Flag carriers may be so designated due to the requirements of maritime law which stipulates that all aircraft or ships must display the state flag of the country in which they are registered. In the case of an airline, a flag carrier may also be known as a national airline or a national carrier.

Up until the 1970’s, almost all of the major airlines were classified as flag carriers. As such, they received sponsorship from their appropriate governments which meant that they were, to a large extent, protected from competition.

The open skies concept refers to a multilateral air transport agreement. One of it most important tenants is that it liberalises the rules for international aviation whilst, at the same time, minimising government intervention. The agreement covers passenger, cargo and combination air transportation, and includes both scheduled and charter services.

As a result of this agreement, there has been a huge increase in competition, associated with greater choice for consumers. However, over recent years, many of the older airlines have required assistance in the form of government-bailouts, bankruptcy, or mergers with larger carriers. The reasons for such a shake-up of the industry included the rising cost of aviation fuel, low fares resulting from higher competition, increased salaries, and the crises surrounding the Sept 11, 2001 attacks and the SARS epidemic. Nevertheless, such a shake-up has created huge opportunities for the growth in low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair and Southwest Airlines.

General Aviation

This category covers all non-scheduled civil aviation, both private and commercial. The following lists some of the activity variants covered by such a characterisation: business flights, air charter, private aviation, flight training, ballooning, parachuting, gliding, hang gliding, aerial photography, foot-launched powered hang gliders, air ambulance, crop dusting, charter flights, traffic reporting, police air patrols and forest fire fighting.

Aviation is regulated in a manner dependent upon the country. In the case of general aviation, the regulations are dependent upon whether the activity is classified as private or commercial, and on the type of equipment involved.

There are many manufacturers of small aircraft in this market with an emphasis on both the private sector and flight training. The following lists some of the more prominent contributors:
Cessna – Founded in 1927 in the US, they are best known for their small, piston engine aircraft. However, business jets are also part of their range.
Piper – Also founded in 1927 in the US, it too tends to specialise in small, piston-powered aircraft. The Cherokee has been one of its most successful products, used for pilot training around the world.
Diamond – Founded in 1981 in Austria, it produces solely piston-powered light aircraft, although a personal jet is in development.
Mooney – A private US company founded in 1929, it produces solely single engine, piston-powered light aircraft, and is a leader in civil aviation.
Cirrus Design - A private US company founded in 1984, it produces solely single piston engine light aircraft, although a single-engine jet is currently under development.

Aviation – How To Succeed

Author's Bio: 

Peter Radford writes Articles with Websites on a wide range of subjects. Aviation Articles cover History, Aircraft Types, Air Traffic Control.

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