The stepwise liberalisation of the EU internal aviation market resulted in 1993 in an open internal market that generated a series of supply side responses, which are partly comparable with the changes demonstrated in the deregulated US domestic air transport market. However, the starting point was quite different between these two markets. For example, until the deregulation in 1978, US legacy carriers operated a domestic crisscross network whereas the two flag carriers, Pan Am and TWA operated at various US gateways in stand-alone international networks based on the bilateral air service agreements concluded between the US and other states. After the deregulation, domestic major carriers transformed their crisscross domestic networks into radial hub and spoke networks (except the Delta hub at Atlanta that already existed before the deregulation). The domestic hubs in these networks also became the launching platforms for international operations when these domestic major carriers started to use their domestic feed for international operations. All in all, the former domestic major carriers became the new flag carriers in international markets, whereas the former two flag carriers went bankrupt due to the lack of domestic feed in order to adequately compete with these new internationally operating airlines.
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