Future Airline Markets

Airlines seem to have made up their collective minds — at last — that there is no sense in flying people places for a price that produces less than the cost of the flight. This makes sense.

At the same time, mergers do seem to be on the rise. What will this do to competition? One side says that — woe is us — it will put the market into too few hands and pax will be forced to pay “excessive” (whatever that means) prices. That side tends to think govmint may have to interfere with the market — in other words, reregulate the market — in order to keep prices “fair.”

Let’s not forget that there is another side that really does believe in the free market. Count me among that group.

Adam Smith — who wrote the book on the free market about the time our country became a country — would say that if the big airlines start charging too much and thus earning too much, others will leap into the market with new airlines and provide new competition.

Does that sound unreasonable? It shouldn’t to anyone who remembers the 1970s and a little upstart airline called Southwest.

What could keep these upstarts out of the market? Well, how about govmint regulation that interferes with access to the market? That’d do it.

Let’s hope we can keep the govmint out of the market.