727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 1600 times:
That is a novel business idea that just might work. Every other major nationwide business seems to franchise, why not airlines? I would like to see the deal go through just to see how it turns out!
Really, this could make for a healthier airline. Consider if US did fold: with 9 seats on the board, Mesa, Wisconsin and Repbublic could vote to give themselves the right to keep using the name, keep flying their own routes, and work together to fill the gaps left by mainline. Sure they probably wouldn't be able to keep the international routes afloat, but the domestic network could keep going while they collectively get a plan to rebuild.
A last thought, I grew up in a small city in the middle of nowhere. I have reluctantly watched my hometown's airline service dwindle from 4 mainline carriers plus two regionals serving 8-10 cities to one mainline and 3 regionals serving five cities. I have often wondered if the town could have its "own" airline serving one of the nearby hubs that we don't have service to. It would offer connecting service and FF miles etc in the same manner as the airline's express arm, but otherwise not financially tied to the mainline. A "Brand" similar to what is suggested above would make something like that feasible all over the country, improving service to smaller communities and maybe even taking some stress off the busy airports.