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Technological innovation in the airline industry: The impact of regional jets

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  • Brueckner, Jan K.
  • Pai, Vivek

Abstract

This paper explores the impact of the regional jet (RJ), an important new technological innovation in the airline industry, on service patterns and service quality. The paper's theoretical analysis predicts that the frequency advantage of RJs over jets, a consequence of their small size, should have led to the emergence of point-to-point (PP) service in thin markets where such service was previously uneconomical. However, the evidence contradicts this prediction, showing that markets attracting new PP service by RJs had demographic characteristics similar to those of markets that already had jet PP service or attracted it after 1996. Additional descriptive evidence shows that RJs were used to provide service on a large number of new hub-and-spoke (HS) routes, and that they replaced discontinued jet and turboprop service on many such routes, as well as supplementing continuing jet service. When replacement or supplementation by RJs occurred, passengers benefited from better service quality via higher flight frequencies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 110-120

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:27:y:2009:i:1:p:110-120

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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Keywords: Regional jets Airlines;

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References

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  1. Dresner, Martin & Windle, Robert & Zhou, Ming, 2002. "Regional jet services: supply and demand," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(5), pages 267-273.
  2. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  3. Babikian, Raffi & Lukachko, Stephen P. & Waitz, Ian A., 2002. "The historical fuel efficiency characteristics of regional aircraft from technological, operational, and cost perspectives," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 389-400.
  4. Brueckner, Jan K., 2002. "Network Structure and Airline Scheduling," Working Papers 02-0112, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  5. Berry, Steven & Reiss, Peter, 2007. "Empirical Models of Entry and Market Structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gianmaria Martini & Davide Scotti, 2009. "Potere di mercato e distribuzione dei profitti nella filiera del trasporto aereo," Working Papers 0906, Department of Economics and Technology Management, University of Bergamo.
  2. Cohen, Maurie J., 2010. "Destination unknown: Pursuing sustainable mobility in the face of rival societal aspirations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 459-470, May.
  3. Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2012. "On the optimal distribution of traffic of network airlines," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1164-1179.
  4. Chen, Yongmin & Gayle, Philip, 2013. "Mergers and Product Quality: Evidence from the Airline Industry," MPRA Paper 51238, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Fageda, Xavier, 1975- & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2010. "Technology, business models and network structure in the airline industry," Working Papers 2072/151552, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  6. Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2012. "Air services on thin routes: Regional versus low-cost airlines," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 702-714.
  7. Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2011. "Air services on thin routes: Regional versus low-cost airlines," Working Papers 2072/179624, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  8. Pai, Vivek, 2010. "On the factors that affect airline flight frequency and aircraft size," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 169-177.
  9. Fukui, Hideki, 2012. "Do carriers abuse the slot system to inhibit airport capacity usage? Evidence from the US experience," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-6.
  10. Vivek Pai, 2007. "On the Factors that Affect Airline Flight Frequency and Aircraft Size," Working Papers 070803, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.

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