The September 11th terrorist attacks, economic downturn, slump in business travel, SARS epidemic, the Iraq war, and growing oil prices all had a negative impact on the world economy. But these external shocks, together with the deregulation of US and EU internal markets, led to deep and mostly positive changes in the airline industry. The dramatic emergence and success of low-cost carriers with their unbeatably low fares meant that the traditional airlines had to react not only to the external shocks but also to this new challenge. All of these network carriers had in common struggle to cut the costs and improve efficiency. The traditional airlines began to cooperate more intensively -- especially through alliances. This bachelor thesis most of all tries to describe and explain the interdependence of the "players" on the market of civil aviation. These are the traditional carriers, low-cost airlines and the state. A detailed analysis of the players strategies and their relationships results into a final synthesis in which the author tries to outline the possible future development of the airline industry.