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Did the Entry of Low Cost Companies Foster the Growth of Strategic Alliances in the Airline Industry?

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  • Andrea Mantovani

    ()
    (University of Bologna)

  • Ornella Tarola

    ()
    (University of Cassino)

Abstract

We adopt a vertical differentiation model to study the effect of deregulation in the airline industry. In particular, we show that traditional carriers form international alliances on hub-and-spoke networks to compete against low cost companies, which successfully serve short haul routes at relatively cheap prices. The alliance is profitable if the gain in terms of economies of density is sufficiently high and consumers’ utility is not significantly decreased by the indirect connection. Social welfare is also evaluated: we find interval regions where the alliance is welfare enhancing, even if it is not convenient for existing flag carriers.

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Article provided by SIPI Spa in its journal Rivista di Politica Economica.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (January-February)
Pages: 189-220

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Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:v:97:y:2007:i:1:p:189-220

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  1. Franke, Markus, 2004. "Competition between network carriers and low-cost carriers—retreat battle or breakthrough to a new level of efficiency?," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 15-21.
  2. Jan K. Brueckner & Eric Pels, 2004. "European Airline Mergers, Alliance Consolidation, and Consumer Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 1154, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Park, Jong-Hun & Zhang, Anming & Zhang, Yimin, 2001. "Analytical models of international alliances in the airline industry," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 865-886, November.
  4. Oum, Tae Hoon & Park, Jong-Hun, 1997. "Airline alliances: current status, policy issues, and future directions," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 133-144.
  5. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1979. "Price competition, quality and income disparities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 340-359, June.
  6. Brueckner, Jan K & Whalen, W Tom, 2000. "The Price Effects of International Airline Alliances," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 503-45, October.
  7. Brueckner, Jan K., 2003. "The benefits of codesharing and antitrust immunity for international passengers, with an application to the Star alliance," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 83-89.
  8. Barla, Philippe & Constantatos, Christos, 2005. "On the Choice between Strategic Alliance and Merger in the Airline Sector: the Role of Strategic Effects," Cahiers de recherche 0502, GREEN.
  9. Shaked, Avner & Sutton, John, 1982. "Relaxing Price Competition through Product Differentiation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 3-13, January.
  10. Charles Boguslaski & Harumi Ito & Darin Lee, 2004. "Entry Patterns in the Southwest Airlines Route System," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 317-350, 08.
  11. Mussa, Michael & Rosen, Sherwin, 1978. "Monopoly and product quality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 301-317, August.
  12. Barla, Philippe & Constantatos, Christos, 2005. "Strategic interactions and airline network morphology under demand uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 703-716, April.
  13. Jong-Hun Park & Anming Zhang, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis of Global Airline Alliances: Cases in North Atlantic Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 367-384, June.
  14. Barla, Philippe & Constantatos, Christos, 2000. "Airline network structure under demand uncertainty," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 173-180, September.
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