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Following deregulation, the airline industry has dramatically changed. In addition to numerous mergers and bankruptcies, the industry has also seen an influx of small…
Following deregulation, the airline industry has dramatically changed. In addition to numerous mergers and bankruptcies, the industry has also seen an influx of small, “low-cost” carriers who offer differentiated competition to the traditional legacy carriers. These low-cost carriers traditionally avoided the hub-and-spoke networks of legacy carriers, offering point-to-point service often on adjacent routes. However, events of the past 10–15 years, including the terrorist attacks of 9/11, rising fuel prices, and economic recessions, have led to a shift in the operations of these airlines. The legacy carriers have unbundled many of their services, most notably through baggage fees, seeking to improve efficiency. Low-cost carriers have expanded services into major airports and have shifted to more direct route level competition with the legacy carriers as they use their cost efficiency advantages to their advantage. In this chapter, we examine airport and route choice decision to serve by legacy and low-cost carriers over time. Our descriptive and econometric models point to convergence of operations in terms of the airports and routes that low-cost and legacy carriers serve, with the implication that the current competitive atmosphere improves efficiency as the distinctions between legacy and low-cost carriers have become less obvious.
Airline travel is composed of business and nonbusiness travelers, each with different preferences that give rise to differences in demand elasticities and substitution not…
Airline travel is composed of business and nonbusiness travelers, each with different preferences that give rise to differences in demand elasticities and substitution not only across airlines but also airports. In this study, we develop and estimate a model of airline wherein consumers choose which airports and airline to use that allows for unobserved differences between travelers (e.g., business and nonbusiness travelers). The results point to the role that airports themselves play in the ultimate selection of a flight, and that there are strong interactive effects between the airlines’ networks and the consumers’ preferences across airports.
Over the past 50 years, air travel in the United States has increased from approximately 33 million passengers in 1960 to over 607 million passengers in 2007 (National Transportation Statistics, 2011, Table 1–40). This is over an 18-fold increase in air travel in the past five decades. Over that same time period, the number of airports increased modestly, from 15,161 in 1980 to 19,750 in 2009. The number of those airports serving public commercial traffic is even smaller, and has declined from 730 airports in 1980 to 559 in 2009 (National Transportation Statistics, 2011, Table 1–3). Together, these two facts point to phenomenal growth among airports (measured by the number of passenger trips).