Short final: The Decline and fall of Braathens SAFE
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The paper examines the development of the Norwegian airline Braathens SAFE between 1994 and 2001. This runs from the advent of domestic air traffic deregulation until the airline was bought as a fail company by the SAS Group. Braathens fared well when forced to limit supply. However, the opening of Oslo Airport, Gardermoen in 1998 resulted in increased frequency without an corresponding increase in revenue or passengers. The ensuing losses caused Braathens to be classified as a failed firm three years later. The main findings are that Braathens attempted to become a network carrier, but that there was not room for two such airlines in Norway. With the smallest alliance and the fewest international services, Braathens was at constant disadvantage to SAS. The Best and Back seating arrangement and allegations of government discrimination were found to have little influence on the outcome. Braathens’ demise did leave room for Norwegian Air Shuttle to start operations. They were able survive due to providing complimentary services to SAS.