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Air Transport in Europe: ICCSAI Fact Book 2008

Air Transport in Europe: ICCSAI Fact Book 2008

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ICCSAI?s annual Fact Book is a bianually updated and synthetic reference document on competition in the air transport industry of Europe. Special attention is given to the Italian context, although these data are discussed from an international perspective. This work is addressed to all players in the air transport industry. It presents detailed information on demand, supply, industry structure, and regulation policies. Moreover, we draw broad conclusions from these data and identify key questions for future research. We endeavor to approach topics debated in the literature from the standpoint of those who work in the air transport industry as operators or policy makers. For all readers interested in this domain, the Fact Book aims to be not just a reference but a starting point for further reflection. We are keenly aware that even the most exhaustive data collections and best-informed analyses often do not provide simple, clear-cut solutions to the multifarious problems encountered daily by managers and policy-makers. However, we are also convinced that even imperfect data analysis can help by averting those judgments and decisions that stand in glaring contrast with its results. The 2008 Fact Book captures a period of particular dynamism at the international level. Operators are progressively adapting to larger regions of competition (particularly with reference to the Open Skies agreement between the EU and the USA, in force since April 2008) and the intensification of concentration processes between carriers. In fact, opening routes between Europe and the United States to competition will have a profound impact on competitive settlements throughout the industry. On the one hand, Open Skies will create a context of growing demand and falling prices, thereby accentuating the concentration tendency among carriers. On the other hand, it is also bringing international fares to the attention of policy-makers. The same thing happened in the past, when intra-EU flights were first opened to competition.