Tyler Brulé nella sua colonna settimanale sul Financial Times fa un discorso del tutto simile a quello che fece Berlusconi quando si trattò di salvare Alitalia dalle mani straniere:
While I’m all for a free and open market, I also believe there’s a need for governments to offer essential services to their citizens – particularly when the free market is unlikely to fill the gap. In the case of countries that have small populations, or lack strategic hubs, this also means underwriting the national airline. Consultants might argue that this is unnecessary, as other airlines will swoop in to soak up demand, but there’s considerably more at stake than just ensuring every flight boasts an 80 per cent load factor.
A national airline is an embassy with wings, transporting culture, sports teams, cuisine (some airlines do actually serve decent food when they stick to national dishes), commerce and goodwill around the world. Air New Zealand is a flying example of Kiwi resourcefulness and ingenuity, with clever cabin configurations on their long-haul fleet, an emphasis on New Zealand wines and reputable Kiwi chefs consulting on the menus. A flag carrier instills a sense of pride when its tail is spotted on the runway of a far-off land, when it brings home the winning team and when it flies out to evacuate citizens stranded in a conflict or disaster zone.