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Operational efficiency versus financial mobility in the global airline industry: a data envelopment and Tobit analysis

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  • Scheraga, Carl A.
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    Abstract

    The events of September 11th, 2001 precipitated an almost unprecedented financial crisis for the world airline industry. However, it is not clear that these events represent a discrete, industry disruption or whether, in fact, airlines were already entering a period of economic challenges that would demand new strategic orientations on their part. This study investigates the structural drivers of operational efficiency as well as the financial posture of airlines on the eve of September 11th. A sample of 38 airlines from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East was utilized to investigate whether relative operational efficiency implied superior financial mobility (as defined by Donaldson). Data envelopment analysis was utilized to derive efficiency scores for individual airlines. The underlying structural drivers of efficiency were then investigated. It was found that the traditional framework developed in the literature still provided reasonable explanatory power for realized relative operational efficiency. However, the second stage of the analysis found that relative operational efficiency did not inherently imply superior financial mobility. As such, airlines that had chosen relatively efficient operational strategies found themselves in positions of vulnerability with regard to financial mobility and thus suffered the consequences in the post-September 11th environment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 5 (June)
    Pages: 383-404

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:38:y:2004:i:5:p:383-404

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    References

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    1. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    Cited by:
    1. Lu, Wen-Min & Wang, Wei-Kang & Hung, Shiu-Wan & Lu, En-Tzu, 2012. "The effects of corporate governance on airline performance: Production and marketing efficiency perspectives," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 529-544.
    2. Zou, Bo & Elke, Matthew & Hansen, Mark & Kafle, Nabin, 2014. "Evaluating air carrier fuel efficiency in the US airline industry," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 306-330.
    3. Barros, Carlos Pestana & Peypoch, Nicolas, 2009. "An evaluation of European airlines' operational performance," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 525-533, December.
    4. Greer, Mark, 2009. "Is it the labor unions' fault? Dissecting the causes of the impaired technical efficiencies of the legacy carriers in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(9-10), pages 779-789, November.
    5. R. Amy Puenpatom & Robert Rosenman, 2006. "Efficiency of Thai provincial public hospitals after the introduction of National Health Insurance Program," Working Papers 2006-2, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
    6. Greer, Mark R., 2008. "Nothing focuses the mind on productivity quite like the fear of liquidation: Changes in airline productivity in the United States, 2000-2004," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 414-426, February.
    7. Sgouridis, Sgouris & Bonnefoy, Philippe A. & Hansman, R. John, 2011. "Air transportation in a carbon constrained world: Long-term dynamics of policies and strategies for mitigating the carbon footprint of commercial aviation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1077-1091.
    8. Aziz Kutlar & Ali Kabasakal & Murat Sarikaya, 2013. "Determination of the efficiency of the world railway companies by method of DEA and comparison of their efficiency by Tobit analysis," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(6), pages 3575-3602, October.
    9. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Nickolaos, 2012. "Measuring seaports’ productivity: A Malmquist productivity index decomposition approach," MPRA Paper 40174, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Tavassoli, Mohammad & Faramarzi, Gholam Reza & Farzipoor Saen, Reza, 2014. "Efficiency and effectiveness in airline performance using a SBM-NDEA model in the presence of shared input," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 146-153.
    11. Barros, Carlos P. & Liang, Qi Bin & Peypoch, Nicolas, 2013. "The technical efficiency of US Airlines," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 139-148.

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