Choice of Aircraft Size - Explanations and Implications
AbstractTo keep load factors high while offering high frequency service, airlines tend to reduce the size of the aircraft they use. At many of the world’s largest airports there are fewer than 100 passengers per air transport movement, although congestion and delays are growing. Furthermore, demand for air transport is predicted to continue growing but aircraft size is not. This paper aims to investigate and explain this phenomenon, the choice of relatively small aircraft. It seems that this choice is associated mainly with the benefits of high frequency service, the competitive environment in which airlines operate and the way airport capacity is allocated and priced. Regression analysis of over 500 routes in the US, Europe and Asia provides empirical evidence that the choice of aircraft size is mainly influenced by route characteristics (e.g. distance, level of demand and level of competition) and almost not at all by airport characteristics (e.g. number of runways and whether the airport is a hub or slot coordinated). We discuss the implications of this choice of aircraft size and suggest that some market imperfections exist in the airline industry leading airlines to offer excessive frequency on some routes and too low frequency on others.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 06-113/3.
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
aircraft size; frequency; aviation; hub congestion;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-01-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-SEA-2007-01-28 (South East Asia)
- NEP-TUR-2007-01-28 (Tourism Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jan K. Brueckner, 2004.
"Network Structure and Airline Scheduling,"
Journal of Industrial Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 291-312, 06.
- Reynolds-Feighan, Aisling J. & Button, Kenneth J., 1999. "An assessment of the capacity and congestion levels at European airports," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 113-134.
- Salvanes, Kjell G. & Steen, Frode & Sorgard, Lars, 2005. "Hotelling in the air? Flight departures in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 193-213, March.
- Kenneth Button & Jonathan Drexler, 2005. "Recovering Costs by Increasing Market Share: An Empirical Critique of the S-Curve," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 39(3), pages 391-410, September.
- Reynolds-Feighan, Aisling & Button, Kenneth J., 1999. "An Assessment of the Capacity and Congestion levels at European Airports," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa241, European Regional Science Association.
- Swan, William M. & Adler, Nicole, 2006. "Aircraft trip cost parameters: A function of stage length and seat capacity," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 105-115, March.
- Savage, Ian & Scott, Burgess, 2004. "Deploying regional jets to add new spokes to a hub," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 147-150.
- Borenstein, Severin & Netz, Janet, 1999. "Why do all the flights leave at 8 am?: Competition and departure-time differentiation in airline markets," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 611-640, July.
- 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.
- Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2009. "Congested hubs," Working Papers 2072/15844, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.