Issue Overview

Could the Pandemic End Air Transport Liberalization?

Could the Pandemic End Air Transport Liberalization?

June 7th, 2021 at 12:30 AM EDT
16 min read

Issue Overview

Brian Pearce has been IATA's chief economist since 2004, and in that time he's seen his share of exogenous shocks to the industry: SARS, MERS, the global financial crisis, the historic spike in oil prices, and now Covid-19. The industry has weathered all of them, but the breadth and scale of this pandemic has left no almost no airline unscathed. And governments have responded, many stepping up with financial support for the industry. But what will happen after? Pearce notes in this week's Feature Story that more governments are turning inward and becoming increasingly protectionist. That doesn't bode well for an industry that by its definition is global. It especially doesn't bode well for future consolidation or liberalization. And just how profitable was the industry before the pandemic?

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