The Patchwork in the Sky

This research critically examines how the eight largest global markets regulate airlines from the three different perspectives of trade and market access, investment and airline alliances. The eight jurisdictions considered in this dissertation are Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

These jurisdictions have been selected as they were the eight largest markets, based on the number of passengers carried between 2010 and 2019.

This dissertation seeks to contribute to the existing literature by demonstrating that in spite of multiple attempts to reform the regulatory framework for airlines over the last thirty years, with respect to these eight markets, progress has been slow and has prolonged an archaic and opaque regulatory framework that is arguably no longer fit for purpose. This dissertation will consider three prospective pathways for future reform of the airline industry in the wake of COVID-19 and suggest that in spite of the tremendous upheaval of the airline industry through the pandemic, issues pertaining to the regulation of trade, investment and alliances will continue to polarise the industry, legislators and regulators for a long time to come.

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