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Modeling Airline Frequency Competition for Airport Congestion Mitigation


  • Vikrant Vaze

    () (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

  • Cynthia Barnhart

    () (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)


Demand often exceeds capacity at congested airports. Airline frequency competition is partially responsible for the growing demand for airport resources. We propose a game-theoretic model for airline frequency competition under slot constraints. The model is solved to obtain a Nash equilibrium using a successive optimizations approach, wherein individual optimizations are performed using a dynamic programming-based technique. The model predictions are validated against actual frequency data, with the results indicating a close fit to reality. We use the model to evaluate different strategic slot allocation schemes from the perspectives of the airlines and the passengers. The most significant result of this research shows that a small reduction in the total number of allocated slots translates into a substantial reduction in flight and passenger delays and also a considerable improvement in airlines' profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Vikrant Vaze & Cynthia Barnhart, 2012. "Modeling Airline Frequency Competition for Airport Congestion Mitigation," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(4), pages 512-535, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ortrsc:v:46:y:2012:i:4:p:512-535

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew M. Churchill & David J. Lovell & Avijit Mukherjee & Michael O. Ball, 2013. "Determining the Number of Airport Arrival Slots," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(4), pages 526-541, November.
    2. Gillen, David & Jacquillat, Alexandre & Odoni, Amedeo R., 2016. "Airport demand management: The operations research and economics perspectives and potential synergies," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 495-513.
    3. Alexandre Jacquillat & Amedeo R. Odoni, 2015. "An Integrated Scheduling and Operations Approach to Airport Congestion Mitigation," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 63(6), pages 1390-1410, December.
    4. Qiang Meng & Shuaian Wang & Henrik Andersson & Kristian Thun, 2014. "Containership Routing and Scheduling in Liner Shipping: Overview and Future Research Directions," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(2), pages 265-280, May.
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