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Race to the bottom or swimming upstream: Performance analysis of US airlines

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  • Bhadra, Dipasis

Abstract

Data envelopment analysis is used to examine inter-temporal and peer group airline efficiency. Results for the US for 1985–2006 indicate that airline performance is converging over time. In particular, airlines inter-temporal inefficiency peaked earlier and then converged. Furthermore, using Tobit specifications it is seen that while demand intensity matters less in determining airlines inter-temporal inefficiency, their influence is stronger in determining peer group inefficiency. Block time, a representative of operational factors, tends to negatively impact airlines efficiency by imposing burdens on airline operations. Among the structural cost and revenue factors, fuel cost tends to affect inter-temporal inefficiency more robustly than it does to peer group efficiency. Labor pay tends to reduce inefficiency in case of inter-temporal while increasing peer group inefficiency. The events of September 11th had little or no impact on inter-temporal inefficiency but tended to reduce peer group inefficiency in a significant way. Finally, airlines efficiency tends to be robustly affected by block hours; reducing them increases efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhadra, Dipasis, 2009. "Race to the bottom or swimming upstream: Performance analysis of US airlines," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 227-235.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:15:y:2009:i:5:p:227-235
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2008.09.014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gillen, David & Lall, Ashish, 1997. "Developing measures of airport productivity and performance: an application of data envelopment analysis," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 261-273, December.
    2. Adler, Nicole & Golany, Boaz, 2001. "Evaluation of deregulated airline networks using data envelopment analysis combined with principal component analysis with an application to Western Europe," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(2), pages 260-273, July.
    3. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    4. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
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