The paper deals with the expected consequences of deregulation and liberalisation in the European airspace, in particular the effects on the policies of European airlines. The paper gives an overview of the US deregulation policy and the effects on the American aviation sector. Particular attention is given to the existence of contestable markets. Next, various freedom rights are discussed from the viewpoint of a joint European airline policy. The likely impacts on European airlines are mapped out. It is concluded that the foreseeable consequences are probably not a replication of the US situation. Finally, one of the European carriers which has a strong tendency towards global liberalisation and competition, viz. KLM, is discussed in more detail. Various strategic scenarios are presented and analyzed.