Domestic Aviation:

Changes in Airfares, Service, and Safety Since Airline Deregulation

T-RCED-96-126: Published: Apr 25, 1996. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1996.

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GAO discussed changes that have occurred in domestic aviation since the deregulation of the airline industry, focusing on changes in airline fares, service quantity and quality, and safety. GAO noted that: (1) increased competition and especially the entry of new airlines has resulted in lower air fares than before deregulation at most airports; (2) fares have risen at some airports, many of which are dominated by one or two airlines; (3) most airports have more and better quality air service, in terms of number of departures and available seats, available now than they did before deregulation, although some airports serving small- and medium-sized communities have experienced decreases in service; and (4) air travel safety has improved since deregulation, and there were no statistically significant differences in air safety rates among airports serving small, medium, or large communities.

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