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Reasons for Flying


  • Frédéric Dobruszkes
  • David Ramos-Pérez
  • Jean-Michel Decroly


This chapter proposes an overview of the reasons for flying that alternates between a focus on empirical material and methodological issues. Information gathered shows that leisure – defined here as holiday and visiting friend and relatives – is the dominant purpose of flying. This puts the alleged dominance of business travel into perspective, at least in terms of number of passengers carried. However, common statistics mask the fact that there are often multiple, combined reasons for flying. In addition, flying purposes vary across places, subject to their attributes (including social and demographic profiles, economic patterns and tourist amenities) and institutional aspects. They also change over time, both short term (seasonal cycles) and longer term (structural changes). Avenues for future research include investigating travel in developing countries, domestic travel and travel purpose, weighted by distance flown and/or by revenues generated for the airline business.

Suggested Citation

  • Frédéric Dobruszkes & David Ramos-Pérez & Jean-Michel Decroly, 2019. "Reasons for Flying," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/284083, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/284083

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Flight-free: What Swedish views on travel might tell us about the future
      by ? in Forum:Blog on 2021-12-08 14:53:56


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    Cited by:

    1. Dobruszkes, Frédéric & Vandermotten, Christian, 2022. "Do scale and the type of markets matter? Revisiting the determinants of passenger air services worldwide," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).
    2. Frédéric Dobruszkes & Jean-Michel Decroly & Pere Suau-Sanchez, 2022. "The monthly rhythms of aviation: A global analysis of passenger air service seasonality," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/341140, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Kağan Albayrak, Muhammed Bilge & Özcan, İsmail Çağrı & Can, Raif & Dobruszkes, Frédéric, 2020. "The determinants of air passenger traffic at Turkish airports," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 86(C).
    4. Frédéric Dobruszkes & Christian Vandermotten, 2022. "Do scale and the type of markets matter? Revisiting the determinants of passenger air services worldwide," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/336304, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Mattioli, Giulio & Scheiner, Joachim & Holz-Rau, Christian, 2022. "Generational differences, socialisation effects and ‘mobility links’ in international holiday travel," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 98(C).

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