PATA study backs open skies

Liberalised air service agreements generate multiple economic benefits, including more jobs, more travel and tourism and more opportunities for consumers and carriers, according to a new global study
released by the Pacific Asia Travel Association and 11 industry groups.“The benefits to global economies from open sky policies are real and substantive,”
said PATA President and CEO Mr Peter de Jong. “For example, liberalising just 320 of
the world’s 2,000 restrictive air routes would generate economic value comparable to
the Brazilian economy, generating 24.1 million full-time jobs and a US$490 billion
contribution to global wealth.” 

The unprecedented study, entitled ‘Economic Impact of Air Service Liberalization’,
quantifies the economic impacts of changes in aviation policy based on an economic
model developed by InterVISTAS-ga2 Consulting. Data from more than 190 nations and
2,000 country-pairs (international air routes) was used.

Other findings of the study included the following:

- Countries that liberalised air traffic experienced growth in air traffic of at
least 12% to more than 50%

- Fully liberalising the United States-United Kingdom market alone would create
117,000 new jobs and generate US$7.8 billion in economic value


- The creation of the Single European Aviation Market in 1993 led to an average
annual growth rate in traffic between 1995 and 2004 that was almost double the rate
of growth that existed between 1990 and 1994—and it created 1.4 million new jobs.

InterVISTAS President Mr Jon Ash said: “International air commerce today is still
governed by a framework of rules laid down in the post-World War II era. Despite
today?s trend toward global markets, free trade, the Internet and the economic
integration of entire continents, one of the most global, technology-intensive
industries—commercial aviation—remains encumbered by rules that stifle
competition and prevent airlines, communities, passengers and shippers from
benefiting to the fullest.”

Industry groups involved in the study included Airports Council International (ACI),
Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, The Boeing
Company, the European-American Business Council, the Franco-American Chamber of
Commerce, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Pacific Asia
Travel Association (PATA), the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, and the World Travel and
Tourism Council (WTTC).