Factors Affecting Concentration in the Airline Industry

T-RCED-88-65: Published: Sep 22, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1988.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the impact of deregulation on the airline industry, focusing on: (1) carrier entry into the industry and individual markets; (2) how federal policies have contributed to the trend toward increased airline concentration; and (3) the effects of airline concentration on airline fares and services. GAO found that: (1) deregulation allowed airlines to compete on the basis of fares, opened up the airline industry to new entrants, and allowed existing carriers to expand operations; (2) established carriers responded to deregulation by changing their operating and marketing strategies to increase their market dominance, making it more difficult for new airlines to enter the market; (3) since deregulation, the Department of Transportation has approved 26 airline mergers, based on a policy containing outdated assumptions regarding the ease of market entry; (4) these mergers increased airline concentration, with the 5 largest carriers currently handling 74 percent of travel; and (5) such mergers have not adversely affected service levels, although consumers faced fewer choices and increased fares.

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 2, 2016

Aug 8, 2016

Jul 28, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 24, 2016

Jun 21, 2016

May 26, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here