We investigate the relationship between airline network structure and airport congestion. More specifically, we study the ways in which airlines adjust capacity to delays depending on the network type they operate. We find some evidence suggesting that airlines operating hub-and-spoke structures react less to delays than airlines operating fully connected configurations. In particular, network airlines have incentives to keep frequency high even if this is at the expense of a greater congestion at their hub airports. We also show that airlines in slot-constrained airports seem to react to higher levels of congestion by using bigger aircraft at lower frequencies; thus, we conclude that conditioning the number of available slots on the levels of delays at the airport seems an effective measure that creates the right incentives for airlines to reduce the congestion they generate.
We acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (ECO2016-75410-P, ECO2013-42884-P, and ECO2015-69193-R) and Generalitat de Catalunya (2014SGR631).
Fageda, X. and Flores-Fillol, R. (2017), "Airport Congestion and Airline Network Structure", The Economics of Airport Operations (Advances in Airline Economics, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 335-359. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2212-160920170000006013Download as .RIS
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