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Airline Competition and Network Structure

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Abstract

This paper characterizes the equilibria in airline networks and their welfare implications in an unregulated environment. Competing airlines may adopt either fully-connected (FC) or hub-and-spoke (HS) network structures; and passengers exhibiting low brand loyalty to their preferred carrier choose an outside option to travel so that markets are partially served by airlines. In this context, carriers adopt hubbing strategies when costs are sufficiently low, and asymmetric equilibria where one carrier chooses a FC strategy and the other chooses a HS strategy may arise. Quite interestingly, flight frequency can become excessive under HS network configurations.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Flores-Fillol, 2007. "Airline Competition and Network Structure," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 683.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  • Handle: RePEc:aub:autbar:683.07
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    File URL: http://pareto.uab.es/wp/2007/68307.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marco Alderighi & Alessandro Cento & Peter Nijkamp & Piet Rietveld, 2005. "Network competition - the co-existence of hub-and-spoke and point-to-point," ERSA conference papers ersa05p703, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Jan Brueckner & Ricardo Flores-Fillol, 2007. "Airline Schedule Competition," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 30(3), pages 161-177, May.
    3. Ken Hendricks & Michele Piccione & Guofu Tan, 1999. "Equilibria in Networks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1407-1434, November.
    4. Brueckner, Jan K & Whalen, W Tom, 2000. "The Price Effects of International Airline Alliances," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 503-545, October.
    5. Brueckner, Jan K. & Spiller, Pablo T., 1991. "Competition and mergers in airline networks," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 323-342, September.
    6. Jan K. Brueckner, 2004. "Network Structure and Airline Scheduling," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 291-312, June.
    7. Barla, Philippe & Constantatos, Christos, 2005. "Strategic interactions and airline network morphology under demand uncertainty," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 703-716, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2010. "Scheduled service versus personal transportation: The role of distance," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 60-72, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fully-connected networks; hub-and-spoke networks; brand loyalty; fully-served markets; partially-served markets;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L93 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Air Transportation

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