US airline foreign ownership; time for a rethink

Mar 15 2018

US airline foreign ownership; time for a rethink

Article from: CAPA – Center for Aviation – centreforaviation.com

Proposed legislation in the US Congress to eliminate foreign ownership restrictions on airlines will no doubt resurrect arguments by labour that foreign ownership could jeopardise national security and the overall integrity of the US airline industry.

Perhaps those age-old arguments by labour groups, led by the Air Lines Pilots Association (ALPA), are as outdated as the ownership laws themselves. Expanding the long term pool of investors for US airlines could broaden the investor base in the US airline industry, which could prove beneficial for airlines constantly battling knee-jerk reactions from Wall Street if they deviate from the current airline playbook.

US airline ownership laws date back to the 1920s, and the country’s restrictions are arguably the most prohibitive in the world. The recent proposal for legislative change, while unlikely to materialise into an actual policy shift, presents an opportunity to engage in meaningful discourse about ownership restrictions in the context of an evolving global airline business.

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