The need for regional liberalisation
Arab airlines have attracted attention in the last two decades due to their huge growth and expansion worldwide. The air transport sector in the Arab world, however, still lags behind developed air transport markets in terms of advancement of the regulatory framework.
This chapter presents the economic role of air transport in the Arab world in terms of direct contribution and ‘catalytic’ benefits. It also shows the unlocked potential in aviation liberalisation in this region.
The chapter includes a detailed analysis of the 2004 Damascus Agreement, which provides for essential airline liberalisation in the Arab world, including market access, ownership and control of airlines as well as fair competition. The chapter also presents the relation between the Damascus Agreement and other international arrangements.
Considered are the reasons for relatively little interest in the Damascus Agreements and its small number of ratifications. The chapter gives a set of conclusions about the future development and possible revival of the agreement.