Until the mid-1990s, nearly 75% of all airline maintenance was performed in-house. In part, that was due to lack of credible alternatives, but it was also a vestige of the pre-deregulation period when maintenance and operations stood as essential and equal pillars of an airline's success, with cost being a far less important element than it is today. The emergence of low-cost carriers such as Southwest, AirTran, EasyJet and Ryanair, as well as the established package carriers FedEx and ...

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