City and Regional Planning

Posted July 7, 2015

Professor Ryerson Discusses Competition Among Major US Airlines

Following news that the Justice Department is investigating whether America’s largest airlines are working together to limit seating to keep airfares high, Megan Ryerson—Assistant Professor in the Departments of City & Regional Planning at PennDesign and Electrical & Systems Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science—spoke to Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word on July 3, 2015 about the new era of airline competition in the aftermath of three major airline mergers, the 2008 recession, and extreme volatility in fuel prices:

“Are the airlines colluding? That’s for the investigation to find, but what is known is that airlines study one another very closely. Airlines are private companies and like any competitive industry the airlines make it their business to study the competition. And there is plenty of data to support analysis as the Federal Aviation Administration and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, both of the U.S. Department of Transportation, collect and make publicly available data on airline financials and operations. This data provides a rich research environment for aviation researchers (like me and my students) as well as airline analysts.”