Airlines for America Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Airline Deregulation Act

WASHINGTON, October 24, 2018 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry organization representing the leading U.S. airlines, is commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Airline Deregulation Act, which opened the doors to innovation, competition and consumer choice for the traveling and shipping public.

On October 24, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act into law, eliminating government restrictions on domestic routes, ticket prices and competition from new carriers that wanted to enter the market.

“Forty years ago, this landmark legislation ushered in a new era of consumer choice, affordable fares and customer value for millions of Americans,” said A4A President and CEO Nick Calio. “Competition in the industry is driving airfares down to historic lows. Just last week, the Bureau of Transportation and Statistics announced that in real terms average domestic airfare was $349 in the second quarter of 2018 — the lowest second quarter on record.”

“Lower fares help make air travel accessible for a wide range of travelers. Forty percent of air travelers have family incomes under $50,000 and 58 percent have combined incomes under $75,000. Once a luxury only few could afford, in 2017, nearly 90 percent of the people in this country can say they have flown at least once in their lifetime – that’s truly remarkable,” Calio continued.

Americans are flying in record numbers. U.S. airlines are flying more than 2.3 million passengers daily, and shipping more than 55,000 tons of cargo to 800 airports in 80 countries. Additionally, commercial aviation delivers economic value, with U.S. carriers alone directly employing 720,000 workers and helping support five percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Click here to learn more about the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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