As far as I'm aware, there are certain "motorways" or corridors which air traffic uses, rather than navigating more directly from origin to destination.
I remember listening to a documentary which mentioned that in the early days of the standardisation of flight, the navigation system was being decided. The Americans put forward the "motorways" system because they already used intermittent beacons to guide aeroplanes across the country, which naturally form a kind of road system analogue.
While the British (or Europeans) put forward a direct point-to-point system.
Anyway, the US won, and everything was hunky-dory until we get to today with our extremely crowded skies. So the documentary went on to say that investigations were underway into a new system in which each plane communicates with the planes around it continuously, forming and reforming impromptu mesh networks to avoid collisions. In this way, planes can fly more direct routes and potentially save time and fuel.
My question is whether or not this suggestion is feasible, is it being investigated, and is there a push to move towards it at a level which could affect the international air community?