Liberalisation of Air Transport
Air transport plays a pivotal role in tourism and enables trade over long distances of both time-sensitive and high-value goods. It has enabled travellers and shippers to bridge large distances and has brought far away destinations much closer to home. However, air transport is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Much of this regulation is safety-related, to mitigate the inherent risks tied with aviation. Air transport is also subject to a body of economic regulation that can prescribe which airline flies which route, at which frequency, capacity, prices, and even the nationality of its owners and decision makers.
In the last three decades, air transport has made significant progress in liberating itself from some of this economic regulation. While liberalisation has brought many benefits to society, it has also raised some issues tied to fair competition, maintaining high labour standards and how to mitigate the environmental impact of this ever-growing industry. This overview provides insights and recommendations resulting from work carried out by the International Transport Forum’s Working Group on the Liberalisation of Air Transport.