One argument is that positive externalities, such as higher growth due to global mobility, outweigh the microeconomic losses and justify continuing government intervention. A historically high level of government intervention in the airline industry can be seen as part of a wider political consensus on strategic forms of transport, such as highways and railways, both of which receive public funding in most parts of the world. Although many countries continue to operate state-owned or parastatal airlines, many large airlines today are privately owned and are therefore governed by microeconomic principles to maximize shareholder profit.
In the 1950s, the De Havilland Comet, Boeing 707, Douglas DC-8, and Sud Aviation Caravelle became the first flagships of the Jet Age in the West, while the Eastern bloc had Tupolev Tu-104 and Tupolev Tu-124 in the fleets of state-owned carriers such as Czechoslovak ČSA, Soviet Aeroflot and East-German Interflug. The Vickers Viscount and Lockheed L-188 Electra inaugurated turboprop transport.
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In February 2018, Hawaiian was rumored to be canceling its order for six A330-800s and replacing them with 787-9s. It was reported that Boeing priced the aircraft at less than $115 million, and possibly less than $100 million, each; the production cost of a 787-9 is between $80 million and $90 million. Boeing Capital also released Hawaiian from three 767-300ER leases in advance; these aircraft were to be transferred to United Airlines. Initially, Hawaiian refuted it cancelled its A330-800 order, but did not dismiss a new deal with Boeing. However, on March 6, 2018, Hawaiian Airlines confirmed the cancellation of the A330-800 order and the signing of a Letter of Intent with Boeing to purchase ten 787-9 aircraft, with options for an additional ten planes; the deal was finalized at the Farnborough Air Show in July 2018.
Often the companies combine IT operations, or purchase fuel and aircraft as a bloc to achieve higher bargaining power. However, the alliances have been most successful at purchasing invisible supplies and services, such as fuel. Airlines usually prefer to purchase items visible to their passengers to differentiate themselves from local competitors. If an airline's main domestic competitor flies Boeing airliners, then the airline may prefer to use Airbus aircraft regardless of what the rest of the alliance chooses.