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A dogfight over the assets of troubled Alitalia and Air Berlin heralds a new shake-up in the European airline industry – but unless other carriers cut costs they may meet a similar fate themselves, analysts warn.Alitalia and Air Berlin had both been operating at losses for years. Low-cost airlines had eaten away at Alitalia's market share in particular, with Ireland's Ryanair having eclipsed it as the largest flight operator in Italy.They were spared by Etihad, which took equity stakes in both as the flush Gulf airline tried to buy its way into Europe, but it lost its gamble that it could turn them around.Low-cost Ryanair has soared to become Europe's top airline by number of passengers.Air France-KLM recently decided to allow Delta and China Eastern, both partners in the Sky Team alliance, to take stakes in its equity capital. The equity stakes make the airlines "more cooperative on their business model" and "more interested in synergies," Bouchard said.
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