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Passenger Leaks and the Fate of Small Community Air Service


  • Owen R. Phillips
  • Larry R. Weatherford
  • Charles F. Mason
  • Mitch Kunce


Using airline-booking data from Sabre, this article documents the proportion of passengers who drive and fly from a hub airport, rather than take a commuter flight. If fewer passengers leaked to a hub, community airports would have more enplanements. Price and quality factors affecting leaks are econometrically estimated for the state of Wyoming. Fare differences, distance between the local airport and hub and the proportion of regional jets making the hub connection are important determinants. Short-run elasticities are estimated to measure the sensitivity of local air travelers to these factors. Leaks increased after September 11, 2001. (JEL L52, L93) Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Owen R. Phillips & Larry R. Weatherford & Charles F. Mason & Mitch Kunce, 2005. "Passenger Leaks and the Fate of Small Community Air Service," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(4), pages 785-794, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:43:y:2005:i:4:p:785-794

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    Cited by:

    1. Fredriksson, Per G. & Wollscheid, Jim R., 2008. "The political economy of investment: The case of pollution control technology," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 53-72, March.
    2. Fu, Qian & Kim, Amy M., 2016. "Supply-and-demand models for exploring relationships between smaller airports and neighboring hub airports in the U.S," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 67-79.
    3. Stone, Matthew J., 2016. "Reliability as a factor in small community air passenger choice," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 161-164.
    4. repec:eee:touman:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:237-244 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Paliska, Dejan & Drobne, Samo & Borruso, Giuseppe & Gardina, Massimo & Fabjan, Daša, 2016. "Passengers' airport choice and airports' catchment area analysis in cross-border Upper Adriatic multi-airport region," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 143-154.
    6. Wei, Fangwu & Grubesic, Tony H., 2016. "The pain persists: Exploring the spatiotemporal trends in air fares and itinerary pricing in the United States, 2002–2013," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 107-121.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation


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