June 1, 2017 – Since deregulation, consolidation through merger has been a dominant, though often misunderstood, strategy in the airline industry. The example of Republic Airlines is relevant.
Eno Transportation Weekly
Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) recently announced that he planned to introduce an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill mandating minimum sizes for aircraft seat width and pitch (the distance between rows). In February, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) proposed a similar measure. As someone who has worked in and near the airline industry since 1984, my first reaction was “this is classic Capitol Hill silliness.” Taking a closer look, the proposals reflect four shortcomings about how legislators and others in Washington look at commercial aviation.
In late June, the Department of Justice confirmed that it was investigating unnamed U.S. airlines (believed to be the four largest, American, Delta, Southwest, and United) for “possible unlawful coordination” on limiting capacity as a means of raising prices.