The aim of the paper is to evaluate the effects of the EU-U.S. open skies agreement on the Italy U.S. air transportation market. The EU-U.S. open skies agreement, which came into force in March 2008, is an important example of the liberalization of the air transport industry the goal of which is to improve consumer welfare. Enabling any European carrier and any U.S. airline to fly between EU and U.S. destinations without restrictions
on frequencies and fares is the first step in creating an EU-U.S. open aviation area. This agreement harmonizes the fragmented and diversified regulation on transatlantic market access in EU countries. The study focuses on passenger traffic in terms of both direct flights and one-stop flights from Italy to the U.S. to analyze the changes in competition and service quality induced by the EU-U.S. open skies agreement. A
pre- and post deregulation comparison of the transatlantic market highlights that the number of flights and destinations decreased, while the service coverage in Italy improved. Moreover, although the number of carriers offering transatlantic services decreased, fewer routes are monopolized by only one carrier.
Keywords: Liberalizzazione, trasporto aereo, accordo EU-U.S. open skies
Jel Code: L93, L51