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Airport–Airline Arrangements: An Interpretive Review of Industry Practices and Recent Studies

Xiaowen Fu and Hangjun Yang

A chapter in The Economics of Airport Operations, 2017, vol. 6, pp 97-122 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract With significant changes in the aviation industry, various airport–airline arrangements have been formed to achieve alternative objectives. However, no consensus has been reached on such arrangements’ economic effects and the associated optimal public policy. This chapter aims to provide an interpretive review of the common types of airport–airline arrangements, the different modeling approaches used and key conclusions reached by recent studies. Our review suggests that airport–airline arrangements can take diverse forms and have been widely used in the industry. They may allow the airport and its airlines to internalize demand externality, increase traffic volume, reduce airport investment risks and costs, promote capacity investment, enhance service quality, or simply are a response to the competition from other airport–airline chains. On the other hand, such vertical arrangements, especially for those exclusively between airports and selected airlines, could lead to collusive outcomes at the expenses of non-participating organizations. The effects of such arrangements are also significantly influenced by the contract type, market structure and bargaining power between the airport and airline sectors. While case by case investigations are often needed for important economic decisions, we recommend policy-makers to promote competition in the airline and airport segments whenever possible, and demand more transparency or regulatory reporting of such arrangements. Policy debates and economic studies should be carried out first, before intrusive regulations are introduced.

Keywords: Airline–airport arrangements; vertical structures; airport; air transport; R48; L52; L93 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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