Airline regulation: The barn door is already open

|By:, SA News Editor

Years of deregulation may have backfired for consumers as fares continue to soar and local markets shrink to a few carrier choices, according an op-ed piece in The New York Times from Joe Nocera.

The two dominant carriers - United Continental and Delta Air Lines - have an almost insurmountable lead with established global networks, while Southwest Airlines (LUV) rules the roost in the low-cost segment.

Even if the American Airlines-US Airways merger is blocked, consumers face escalating fares with capacity trimmed and options limited, warn analysts.

Sector analysis: JPMorgan thinks airline stocks (DAL, LUV, AAMRQ.PK, JBLU, LCC, ALK, HA, SAVE, ALGT, RJET) could slip after a strong YTD run if American emerges from bankruptcy as a stand-alone.