T​he reduction by States of controls within the air transport industry, known as “liberalization” or “deregulation”, has fostered competition between air carriers. Enhanced competition, in turn, has led many carriers to consider consolidation as a means by which to achieve economies of scale and scope and to respond to consumer demands for global networks. With heightened competition and consolidation also comes a higher risk of anti-competitive behaviour. In addition, in order to keep their national airlines competitive in a liberalized market, some governments may be tempted to lend support to their airlines through means that could deny the airlines of other States a fair and equal opportunity to compete.

ICAO policy and guidance material on fair competition

Chicago-Convention Chicago-Convention  

Existing ICAO policy and guidance material developed by ICAO on the economic regulation of international air transport are contained mostly in Doc 9587. An ​information paper on existing policy and guidance material on fair competition can be viewed here: 


ICAO Tools to Promote Dialogue and Exchange of Information on Competition 

To foster more compatible regulatory approaches on fair competition, ICAO has developed the following tools:


  • compendium of competition policies and practices in force nationally and regionally.

  • ICAO international air transport meetings are also offered as exchange fora on competition for the enhancement of cooperation, dialogue, and exchange of information

    • Competition issues were discussed during the Symposium at the seventh ICAO Air Services Negotiation Conference 2014 in Bali, Indonesia (ICAN2014).

    • The upcoming ICAO Air Transport Symposium, to be held in Montréal, Canada (IATS2015) will be dedicated to competition in international air transport. 

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