Chapter 9: Latin America and the Caribbean, thirty-plus years of lukewarm liberalization of air transport markets
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Using a case study approach, this chapter synthesizes information available on liberalization of air transport markets in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Mexico, Chile and Colombia are used as the case studies. There is little conclusive evidence regarding the economic impact of liberalization efforts. There is evidence that LAC countries have made progress in improving the performance of their airports’ operations, in providing air navigation services and complying with ICAO safety standards. Moreover, Chile and Colombia have experienced improvements in the efficiency of their airlines. The elimination of entry barriers in both countries has allowed for cross-border consolidation in the passengers’ market. In parallel, Chile and Colombia have recognized the value of air connectivity as an enabler of the success of new industry sectors including flowers, fish, produce and exotic fruits. In distinction, Mexico’s deregulation approach has been more in line with the LAC countries’ reputation for lengthy and protectionist processes to liberalize air transportation markets.

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