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From Low-cost Carriers to Network Carriers without Legacy? Evolving Airline Business Models in Europe

Richard Klophaus and Frank Fichert

A chapter in Airline Economics in Europe, 2019, vol. 8, pp 57-75 from Emerald Publishing Ltd

Abstract: Abstract There is a strong academic and professional interest in the changing business model of LCCs in Europe. Recently, even Ryanair which is often considered a European LCC role model has departed from the point-to-point paradigm by offering transfers within its own network. We first provide a general overview of recent changes in the business model of airlines that used to be categorized as LCCs. We then add to existing studies on LCC network strategies toward building connections. While we distinguish different approaches to accommodate transfer passengers, our analysis focuses on mesh networks as an airline network topology other than hub-and-spoke networks to provide online connections. A schedule analysis of Ryanair’s direct and indirect services at its base at Porto airport exemplifies that a mesh network might allow LCCs to go beyond stand-alone operations to become network carriers without requiring a complete transition of the generic LCC business strategy.

Keywords: Airline management; low-cost carrier (LCC); network topology; connecting traffic; point-to-point network; hub-and-spoke network; mesh network (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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