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Airline Mergers in the United States since 2005: What Impact Have They Had on Airline Efficiency?

Mark R. Greer

A chapter in Airline Efficiency, 2016, vol. 5, pp 161-195 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract This chapter examines the impact of recent airline consolidations in the United States on the technical efficiencies of the airlines involved. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is used to assess the efficiencies, and the consolidations examined are those that occurred among major network carriers between 2005 and 2013. The airline production process is conceptualized as the transformation of labor, fuel, and fleet-wide seating capacity into available seat-miles, or, under an alternative model specification, into user value, as measured by the airline’s operating revenue. Efficiency is conceptualized in terms of minimizing the airline’s usage of the three inputs, given its output level. The analysis seeks to determine whether the airlines that consolidated were more efficient, post-consolidation, than they were prior to consolidation, compared to airlines that did not enter into consolidations. Although there are limitations owing to the small number of airlines in the dataset, the chapter finds no evidence that the consolidations enhanced the efficiencies of the airlines involved, relative to the efficiencies of the airlines that did not enter into consolidations.

Keywords: Airlines; mergers; data envelopment analysis; airline efficiency; L930; R400; D240 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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