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Study on the evolution of the air transport network of the Azores

António P. Antunes, Miguel G. Santos, João P. Pita and António G. Menezes

Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 2018, vol. 118, issue C, 837-851

Abstract: In remote low-populated regions, air transport networks play a crucial role with respect to the mobility of people and goods, but can hardly be viable without the support of public subsidies. In this paper, we deal with the case of the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago of nine islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean, whose air transport network is subsidized through the Public Service Obligations system in place in the European Union. Specifically, we describe a study carried out to analyze possible evolutions of the (domestic) air transport network of the Azores with the objective of reducing the network’s operating costs. The changes to implement could involve the flight schedule, the fleet assignment and the route structure. According to the results obtained in the study, it would be possible to reduce the variable operating costs of the network by 16.2%, and, at the same time, improve substantially the level of service offered to passengers (decrease of 17.5% in the average travel time and of 37.5% in the average waiting time of connecting trips), while achieving a well-balanced distribution of impacts across the different islands of the Azores.

Keywords: Transport; Air transport networks; Public service obligations; Integrated flight scheduling and fleet assignment model; Azores (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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