State of the Airline Industry:

Strategies for Addressing Financial and Competition Problems

T-RCED-93-21: Published: Mar 10, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 1993.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the state of the airline industry and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) use of budgetary resources to help the industry. GAO noted that: (1) due to major financial losses over the last 3 years, airlines are implementing cost cutting programs, laying off employees, cancelling or delaying aircraft purchases, and refocusing services, but these actions may negatively affect their long-term competitiveness; (2) airlines' high debt loads, demand fluctuations, and low fares have decreased competitiveness and profitability to less than half the U.S. average; (3) FAA could help increase the airline industry's efficiency and lower its costs by modernizing the air traffic control system, maintaining and deploying its workforce to areas of greatest need, and improving its airport grant program to relieve congestion and delays; (4) the airline industry needs better access to capital, including greater foreign investments, to ease some restrictions on foreign control of airlines while ensuring national security, job retention, and access to foreign markets; (5) airlines' access to international markets depends upon their financial conditions; (6) industry practices, such as exclusive leases, and FAA high density rule limit access to airports and increase fares; (7) some airline marketing practices, such as computerized reservation systems, frequent flyer plans, and code-sharing agreements, limit competition; and (8) unfair pricing practices by bankrupt airlines and others may aggravate financial problems, but more data are needed before corrective action can be taken.

Feb 28, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 16, 2018

Dec 21, 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Nov 15, 2017

Nov 2, 2017

Oct 31, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here