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Benchmarking Worldwide Airport Connectivity with Demand Data: Global Hub Competition, New Players, and the Hidden Potential of Self-connectivity

Pere Suau-Sanchez, Augusto Voltes-Dorta and Héctor Rodríguez-Déniz

A chapter in The Economics of Airport Operations, 2017, vol. 6, pp 387-423 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract The connectivity provided by full-service network carriers under the umbrella of airline alliances is increasingly challenged by the services of Middle Eastern airlines via their own hubs, and the rise of new passenger strategies like self-connectivity. While these two developments can potentially benefit consumers with more services and lower fares, the rise of Middle East carriers has been met with opposition by EU and US airlines that call for increased protectionism. In addition, only a few airports in the world actively support self-connections. In this context, this study aims to investigate (1) the markets in which Middle East carriers exert a stronger dominance in terms of the number of passenger connections, (2) whether EU, US, or Asian hubs provide a competitive quality of connectivity in terms of travel time, and (3) whether a significant potential for self-connections is hidden at major airports worldwide. To that end, several datasets of passenger bookings (MIDT), airline schedules, and minimum connecting times between 2012 and 2015 are combined in a connections-building methodology that delivers six market-specific airport connectivity indicators for our benchmarking exercise. Our findings show that although European and some Asian hubs have lost traffic in global markets, they remain competitive from a quality perspective. US hubs have maintained their market share and competitive position. Finally, we identify the airports and airlines with the highest potential to provide self-connecting travel options, which can become an attractive new source of revenue for the parties involved.

Keywords: Connectivity; hub competition; Gulf carriers; aviation policy; L93; O18; R41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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