Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


Ross T. Dicker

First Page



In the field of aviation, world transportation is bound together by a highly complex and sophisticated arrangement in which each country designates a single carrier to carry its flag to foreign-countries. The United States has not followed this practice of designating one line as the nation's flag carrier and has twenty "international" carriers which transport passengers, cargo, and mail to foreign countries. Each one of these carriers is a private business concern, competing in most cases with another American carrier covering the same route, and in all cases with the air carrier of the country to which it flies. In some cases it also competes with a carrier of a third country.

The competition between the United States carriers, both domestic trunk and international, for foreign air routes is keen, as evidenced by the number of major air carriers who submitted applications for the routes that were recently granted over the Pacific. The competition between American and foreign international carriers is also keen. In 1963, some nineteen air carriers were serving the North Atlantic market, which is basically the New York to London-Paris route.

Almost every foreign country with its own flag carrier eagerly seeks to obtain permission to fly to the United States and to carry passengers over the North Atlantic route. These same carriers constantly seek to gain permission to land at more American cities and, in many cases, to carry strictly domestic traffic. At the same time, they seek to have their governments take away routes and rights previously granted to the United States carriers.