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US: Travel groups to Congress: study airline competition

 |  February 4, 2016

A group of travel organizations, which includes the U.S. Travel Association and the American Society of Travel Agents, is lobbying Congress in the hopes that it will take a closer look at airline competition. The government did establish a commission to investigate airlines back in 1993, but a lot has changed in the industry since then.

They say it has been 22 years since a national commission was last convened to report on the state of competition in air travel and today, four airlines (American, Delta, Southwest and United-Continental) control nearly 80 per cent of domestic seat capacity.

This is similar to the market dominance that existed ahead of airline deregulation, when a handful of airlines that owned GDSs effectively controlled the industry and drove new entrant airlines from the market. About 100 small carriers were launched and died.

Today there are fewer flight options at many major cities across the country and competition in many city pairs has been cut.

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