CAPA Weekly industry insights: Open skies has always been controversial

    CAPA Executive Chairman Peter Harbison delivers his insightful views on the concept of open skies, which he believes “has always been controversial”.

    In this week’s CAPA Weekly, Mr Harbison looks at the impact of open skies on a country’s tourism and how it can benefit national economies. The example used is between the very different policies of Australia and Canada towards aviation market access.

    “There are many similarities between Canada and Australia – both have a relatively affluent market profile, they have populations around 25 to 35 million, most of whom are situated along the perimeter of the country. They also historically had a major flag carrier, along with a smaller privately owned airline competing in their domestic markets.

    “Until the turn of the century they also shared very similar, liberal, aviation policies. In fact, they would often combine in international forums to seek to spread the word of liberalisation. But all that changed at the beginning of the 21st century. In each case their smaller airlines collapsed; and since then their respective industries and aviation policies have taken very different directions. Australia has remained very liberal, while Canada moved to the much more restrictive end of the regulatory spectrum.”