America’s Airlines Need a Dose of Competition

The real trouble is that American aviation is not competitive. Consolidation has meant there are fewer big carriers, each with higher market share. That has allowed them to care little for the flyers they should be nurturing. At many airports, a single carrier has a near monopoly. (As our recent leader on the subject noted, at 40 of America’s 100 biggest hubs, one airline accounts for more than half of capacity.) What is more, competitors from abroad are barred from disrupting the cosy status quo because of strict foreign ownership rules. That would be a far better thing for Congress to focus on. Imagine how long United and American would last in their current, disdainful guise if Emirates, Singapore Airlines or even Ryanair were allowed to compete against them for a share of the world’s biggest domestic aviation market.
WHEN politicians feel they must summon industry bosses and implore them to treat customers better, it is a sure sign that the market is not working as it should. On May 2nd, a Congressional committee pleaded with airline bosses to improve service or, by implication, face legislation to force […]

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Originally published at Dwayne Nesmith.