The perennial issue of protectionism v. liberalism in air transport has again come under the spotlight in recent months. This month (Mar-2010) the Canadian government is locked in battle with Emirates and Etihad over market access, which the government believes would hinder Air Canada’s direct long haul services. Previously there have been similar disputes in Germany, where, last November, the government bluntly told Emirates to raise its fares in the market or face being fined. Now, in a different but equally important scenario, Air France has launched what is, to date, the biggest legal challenge to discounts on airport charges and assistance with marketing costs that Ryanair has encountered.
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