Open Skies: What North America Can Learn from Europe

As Americans head into the summer travel season, there is a lesson they could learn from the European Union (EU): how to make airfare cheaper. The EU instituted an “open-skies” policy in 1997, resulting in more routes, more airline competitors, and lower fares. The European market is distinct from the airline market in North America, where both U.S. and Canadian regulations prohibit foreign-owned airlines from offering domestic flights—that is, from picking up and dropping off a passenger in-country—within the United States or Canada. North American policymakers would do well to follow Europe’s example and establish open-skies agreements.

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