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Is increasing aircraft size common practice of airlines at congested airports?


  • Berster, Peter
  • Gelhausen, Marc C.
  • Wilken, Dieter


If the overall demand for air transport grows, but additional airport capacity is not available at congested airports, we could assume that airlines will offer flights with more seats in order to cope with the demand. An analysis of frequency and average seat capacity developments at congested, and not yet congested airports, has shown that the hypothesis of bigger aircraft being used in congested situations is valid in most instances, although not at all airports. The objective of this paper is to report on an analysis of the development of average seat capacity at congested airports, in contrast to the situation at not yet congested airports, and to find out the reasons for airlines increasing the number of seats at congested airports, by means of a statistical model using variables including the degree of airport congestion and average flight distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Berster, Peter & Gelhausen, Marc C. & Wilken, Dieter, 2015. "Is increasing aircraft size common practice of airlines at congested airports?," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 40-48.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaitra:v:46:y:2015:i:c:p:40-48
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jairtraman.2015.03.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Givoni, Moshe & Rietveld, Piet, 2009. "Airline's choice of aircraft size - Explanations and implications," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 500-510, June.
    2. Martin Dresner & Robert Windle & Yuliang Yao, 2002. "Airport Barriers to Entry in the US," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 36(3), pages 389-405, September.
    3. Gelhausen, Marc C. & Berster, Peter & Wilken, Dieter, 2013. "Do airport capacity constraints have a serious impact on the future development of air traffic?," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 3-13.
    4. Branko Bubalo & Joachim Daduna, 2011. "Airport capacity and demand calculations by simulation—the case of Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 161-181, October.
    5. Charlton, Andrew, 2009. "Airport regulation: Does a mature industry have mature regulation?," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 116-120.
    6. Fukui, Hideki, 2012. "Do carriers abuse the slot system to inhibit airport capacity usage? Evidence from the US experience," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 1-6.
    7. Button, Kenneth, 2002. "Debunking some common myths about airport hubs," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 177-188.
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    Cited by:

    1. Redondi, Renato & Gudmundsson, Sveinn Vidar, 2016. "Congestion spill effects of Heathrow and Frankfurt airports on connection traffic in European and Gulf hub airports," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 287-297.
    2. Wilken, Dieter & Berster, Peter & Gelhausen, Marc C., 2016. "Analysis of demand structures on intercontinental routes to and from Europe with a view to identifying potential for new low-cost services," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 56(PB), pages 79-90.


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