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Forecasting (aggregate) demand for US commercial air travel

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  • Carson, Richard T.
  • Cenesizoglu, Tolga
  • Parker, Roger

Abstract

We analyze whether it is better to forecast air travel demand using aggregate data at (say) a national level, or to aggregate the forecasts derived for individual airports using airport-specific data. We compare the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) practice of predicting the total number of passengers using macroeconomic variables with an equivalently specified AIM (aggregating individual markets) approach. The AIM approach outperforms the aggregate forecasting approach in terms of its out-of-sample air travel demand predictions for different forecast horizons. Variants of AIM, where we restrict the coefficient estimates of some explanatory variables to be the same across individual airports, generally dominate both the aggregate and AIM approaches. The superior out-of-sample performances of these so-called quasi-AIM approaches depend on the trade-off between heterogeneity and estimation uncertainty. We argue that the quasi-AIM approaches exploit the heterogeneity across individual airports efficiently, without suffering from as much estimation uncertainty as the AIM approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Carson, Richard T. & Cenesizoglu, Tolga & Parker, Roger, 2011. "Forecasting (aggregate) demand for US commercial air travel," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 923-941.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intfor:v:27:y:2011:i:3:p:923-941
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijforecast.2010.02.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Armstrong, J. Scott & Green, Kesten C. & Graefe, Andreas, 2015. "Golden rule of forecasting: Be conservative," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(8), pages 1717-1731.
    2. Giacomini, Raffaella, 2014. "Economic theory and forecasting: lessons from the literature," CEPR Discussion Papers 10201, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Andre Jungmittag, 2016. "Combination of Forecasts across Estimation Windows: An Application to Air Travel Demand," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(4), pages 373-380, July.
    4. repec:lrk:eeaart:35_2_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Brüggemann, Ralf & Lütkepohl, Helmut, 2013. "Forecasting contemporaneous aggregates with stochastic aggregation weights," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 60-68.
    6. Ryazanov Vlas, 2013. "Air mobility of people and airport growth potential in regions of Russia," Bulletin of Geography. Socio-economic Series, De Gruyter Open, vol. 22(22), pages 97-110, December.
    7. Hu, Yi & Xiao, Jin & Deng, Ying & Xiao, Yi & Wang, Shouyang, 2015. "Domestic air passenger traffic and economic growth in China: Evidence from heterogeneous panel models," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 95-100.
    8. Beria, Paolo & Laurino, Antonio, 2016. "Determinants of daily fluctuations in air passenger volumes. The effect of events and holidays on Milan Malpensa airport," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 73-84.
    9. Raffaella Giacomini, 2014. "Economic theory and forecasting: lessons from the literature," CeMMAP working papers CWP41/14, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    10. repec:taf:japsta:v:44:y:2017:i:7:p:1211-1224 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Dantas, Tiago Mendes & Cyrino Oliveira, Fernando Luiz & Varela Repolho, Hugo Miguel, 2017. "Air transportation demand forecast through Bagging Holt Winters methods," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 116-123.

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