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How Do Airlines React to Airport Congestion? The Role of Networks

Listed author(s):
  • Fageda, Xavier, 1975-
  • Flores-Fillol, Ricardo

In this paper, we investigate the relationship between airline network structure and airport congestion. More specifically, we study the ways in which airlines adjust frequencies to delays (as a measure of airport congestion) depending on the network type they operate. Our results suggest that network structure has a fundamental impact. Thus, while airlines operating fully-connected configurations reduce frequencies in response to more frequent delays, airlines operating hub-and-spoke structures increase frequencies. Therefore, network airlines have incentives to keep frequencies high even if this is at the expense of a greater congestion at their hub airports. This result sheds light on previously unclear results in the literature. Keywords: airline networks; airport congestion; delays. JEL Classification Numbers: L13; L93; R41.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2072/260960
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Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/260960.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/260960
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Avda. de la Universitat,1 - 43204 Reus (Tarragona)

Phone: 977 75 98 00
Fax: 977 75 98 10
Web page: http://www.urv.cat
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  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.
  2. Brueckner, Jan K. & Van Dender, Kurt, 2008. "Atomistic congestion tolls at concentrated airports? Seeking a unified view in the internalization debate," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 288-295, September.
  3. Daniel, Joseph I, 1995. "Congestion Pricing and Capacity of Large Hub Airports: A Bottleneck Model with Stochastic Queues," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 327-370, March.
  4. Pai, Vivek, 2010. "On the factors that affect airline flight frequency and aircraft size," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 169-177.
  5. Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2010. "Congested hubs," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 358-370, March.
  6. Forbes, Silke J., 2008. "The effect of air traffic delays on airline prices," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1218-1232, September.
  7. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2013. "Airline consolidation and the distribution of traffic between primary and secondary hubs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(6), pages 951-963.
  8. Charles Boguslaski & Harumi Ito & Darin Lee, 2004. "Entry Patterns in the Southwest Airlines Route System," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 25(3), pages 317-350, August.
  9. Rupp, Nicholas G., 2009. "Do carriers internalize congestion costs? Empirical evidence on the internalization question," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 24-37, January.
  10. Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2015. "A note on optimal airline networks under airport congestion," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 90-94.
  11. Britto, Rodrigo & Dresner, Martin & Voltes, Augusto, 2012. "The impact of flight delays on passenger demand and societal welfare," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 460-469.
  12. Baumgarten, Patrick & Malina, Robert & Lange, Anne, 2014. "The impact of hubbing concentration on flight delays within airline networks: An empirical analysis of the US domestic market," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 103-114.
  13. Fageda, Xavier, 2014. "What hurts the dominant airlines at hub airports?," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 177-189.
  14. Brueckner, Jan K., 2009. "Price vs. quantity-based approaches to airport congestion management," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 681-690, June.
  15. Jan K. Brueckner, 2002. "Airport Congestion When Carriers Have Market Power," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1357-1375, December.
  16. Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2003. "Network Effects, Congestion Externalities, and Air Traffic Delays: Or Why Not All Delays Are Evil," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1194-1215, September.
  17. Zou, Bo & Hansen, Mark, 2014. "Flight delay impact on airfare and flight frequency: A comprehensive assessment," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 54-74.
  18. Daniel, Joseph I. & Harback, Katherine Thomas, 2008. "(When) Do hub airlines internalize their self-imposed congestion delays?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 583-612, March.
  19. Everett B. Peterson & Kevin Neels & Nathan Barczi & Thea Graham, 2013. "The Economic Cost of Airline Flight Delay," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 47(1), pages 107-121, January.
  20. Wei, Wenbin & Hansen, Mark, 2006. "An aggregate demand model for air passenger traffic in the hub-and-spoke network," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 841-851, December.
  21. Brueckner, Jan K & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "Economies of Traffic Density in the Deregulated Airline Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 379-415, October.
  22. McDonald, John F. & McMillen, Daniel P., 2000. "Employment Subcenters and Subsequent Real Estate Development in Suburban Chicago," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 135-157, July.
  23. Ater, Itai, 2012. "Internalization of congestion at US hub airports," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 196-209.
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