Latest issue (Volume 1, Issue 1)


Tae Hoon Oum[1]

[1] Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex


Martin Dresner[1] and Xiaoqian Sun[2]

[1] School of Business, University of Maryland, United States
[2] National Key Laboratory of CNS/ATM, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

A review of air transport service quality studies: current status and future research agenda

Yahua Zhang[1], Seung-Yong Lee[1] and Yue Gu[2]

[1] UniSA Aviation, STEM unit, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
[2] School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, Cairns QLD, Australia

Abstract: Air transport service quality has been a popular research topic in the last decade. A systematic literature review on this topic was conducted on the articles published in quality transport, tourism, and consumer service journals. We present the statistics on study locations, leading authors and affiliations, citations, and research frameworks and data collection methods. We show that there is an increasing use of online survey tools for data collection. Most of the articles have explicitly or implicitly used the SERVQUAL model or its variations such as AIRQUAL to examine the air transport service attributes. Several research areas are identified to bring the SERVQUAL model and the air transport service quality research up to date: the digital and technology-enabled service dimensions, the privacy and cybersecurity consideration, the corporate social responsibility dimension, and the hygiene requirement. We also call for in-depth studies into some individual service dimensions such as services for special needs passengers.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Airport Performance – a multifarious review of literature

Chunyan Yu[1]

[1] David B. O`Maley College of Business, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, USA

Abstract: This paper reviews literature covering three broad categories of airport performance: productivity and efficiency, financial performance, and service quality and passenger satisfaction. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) has become the overwhelmingly dominant method for airport productivity and efficiency studies, in large part due to the lack of publicly accessible data. The effects of ownership and regulations on airport efficiency appear to be of the most interest to researchers. However, sustainability has increasingly become one of the top priorities for many airports, thus we start to see more research incorporate environmental factors in evaluating airport productivity and efficiency. In contrast to the vast volume of literature on airport productivity and efficiency, published works on airport financial performance are scarce with most simply comparing various ratios reflecting unit revenues, unit cost and some forms of profitability, which indicates an indisputable need for more research in the area. There has been a rapid growth in literature on airport service quality over the last decade, mostly focusing on examining drivers for passenger satisfaction. Advancements in data mining and text mining techniques have led to increasing use of user generated contents from web-based platforms instead of traditional questionnaire surveys as data sources by studies of airport service quality and passenger satisfaction.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Effects of non-aeronautical service on airports: A selected review and research agenda

Yukihiro Kidokoro[1] and Anming Zhang[2]

[1] National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan
[2] Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Abstract: In the traditional analysis of airports, non-aeronautical service is not the main focus. Given its growing importance, recent airport literature has investigated the impact of non-aeronautical service comprehensively. The main purpose of this article is, by referring to recent literature, to summarize economic effects of non-aeronautical service on airport management (pricing, investment, and self-financing), regulation, airport city and benefit spillover. The studies overviewed look at airports´ aeronautical and non-aeronautical services (and their interactions with other parts of the economy) based on a general two-good model. Finally, we discuss several avenues for further research.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Modeling airport networks for theoretical policy analyses

Achim I. Czerny[1] and Hao Lang[1]

[1] The Hong Kong Polytechnic University,

Abstract: More than in almost any other transport industry, air transport is globally connected. This paper provides an overview over theoretical studies considering network structures involving two or more airports. Beyond conveying study results, the goal is to offer guidance on how to emph{theoretically} cover and analyze specific issues in the most effective way. Effectiveness is measured in terms of the complexity needed to address the specific issues. The selected issues discussed in this paper include ownership structures and privatization, congestion, beggar-thy-neighbor, and competition. We demonstrate that the analysis of these issues requires networks of different sizes and structures. We measure the airport size by the number of airports involved. We determine the network structure by (i) the number of regions and by distinguishing between regions which are just passively present or actively involved in policy making, and (ii) the involvement of local and non-local passengers.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

An overview of network structures and node importance in the global aviation system from the year 2011 to 2022

Massimiliano Zanin[1] and Sebastian Wandelt[2]

[1] Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain
[2] National Key Laboratory of CNS/ATM, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Beihang University, 100191 Beijing, China

Abstract: The aviation system is an essential constituent for human mobility in the 21st century. Accordingly, better understanding the underlying - possibly hidden - characteristics is one of the key challenges in air transport research. Network science has developed into a key domain for analyzing complex, inter-connected systems, with many studies having used network science techniques to dissect the universal patterns by the abstraction into a network-like structure. After more than two decades of aviation network analysis - the earliest influential papers date back to the early 2000s, providing a synopsis of the existing techniques and assessing the relevant characteristics on the global aviation system is judicious and helpful for the entire air transport community. In this study, we make three major contributions. First, we review the existing literature on complex network analysis of aviation system, having appeared in the past two decades, identifying key trends in the analysis and their results. Second, we provide a data-driven, network science-based analysis of the global aviation system and two of its variants for period from 2011 to 2022, leading to one of the most comprehensive studies in the literature. At the core of our analysis is the task of identifying node importance and answering the question how well complex network-based methods help to reveal the critical nodes in the system. Third, we derive a set of relevant research directions which we deem instrumental for advancing our understanding of global aviation and its subsystems through the lens of network science. We believe that our study provides a unique combination of biographical synopsis and data-driven analysis for the evolution of our global aviation system.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Solving the mystery of discrepancies and double counting in air cargo through demand and supply big data analysis

Vincent Van Bockstaele[1], Sven Buyle[1] and Wouter Dewulf[1]

[1] Department of Transport and Regional Economics, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Abstract: This paper estimates and analyses the air cargo demand and supply imbalances between large geographical regions based on newly collected demand and supply data. Due to the need for more data for academics and the industry, and the lesser research interest compared to its passenger counterpart, limited empirical research on air cargo market dynamics has been conducted. Live flight and aircraft data were collected for five consecutive years to reconstruct the air cargo network and capacity. Air cargo sales tonnes data were collected and introduced as these data eliminate double counting of transfer route volumes. Both datasets were used and compared to analyse the air cargo trade imbalances. The major findings indicate an imbalance in demand on most of the 110 studied region pair combinations. The supply data indicate a high imbalance for freighter capacity, a relatively smaller imbalance for integrator capacity and a limited imbalance for the wide-body belly capacity. The data indicate that the Middle East, Northeast Asia, Russia, Central Asia, and Central America regions are all transfer or in-transit regions where a large amount of cargo passes through. However, limited cargo volumes originate or find their final destination here. Although the general assumption indicates that air cargo supply follows air cargo demand, imbalances between demand and supply in opposing directions were found for several region pairs. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is one of the first academic sources to introduce data analysis based on sales tonnes. This research assists academics and the industry in getting a better understanding of the current air cargo market dynamics. It also provides a base to enhance future air cargo market research, analysis and forecasting.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

ANSPs in Turbulent Times - Uncovering the Impact of Demand Shocks on Efficiency Using the Malmquist Index

Thomas Standfuss[1], Frank Fichert[2], Georg Hirte[3] and Hartmut Fricke[1]

[1] TU Dresden, Chair of Aviation Technology and Logistics
[2] Worms University of Applied Sciences
[3] TU Dresden, Chair of Economics, esp. Transport Policy and Spatial Economics

Abstract: Global and local shocks such as COVID-19 or the Russian attack on Ukraine have influenced European air transport, and other shocks will appear in the future. The subsequent traffic shifts affect one bottleneck candidate of the system: the Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP). In this paper, we apply productivity metrics and Malmquist Data Envelopment Analysis to examine how the ANSP related performance of the air transport system has changed between 2008 and 2020. By considering different levels of granularity we demonstrate the tremendous influence that shocks may have on demand figures and, subsequently, on performance metrics. As an example we show that the Corona pandemic had disparate impacts on various units, resulting in notable efficiency losses in 2020, however, with a strong variation between ANSPs. The findings of our study can be utilized in a subsequent root-cause analysis to quantify the impacts of both endogenous and exogenous factors on performance. This in turn will provide valuable insights for policymakers and industry stakeholders in managing air transport during and after such shocks, and to create a more resilient air traffic management system.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Multi-airport Systems Worldwide

Xiangru Wu[1], Xiaowen Fu[1], Zheng Lei[2] and Kun Wang[1]

[1] Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China
[2] Department of Aviation, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Abstract: This study examines the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on multi-airport systems (MASs) worldwide. First, the recent literature on MASs is reviewed to identify emerging research topics and development patterns. Then, airline schedule data are collected for 53 sample MASs and used to analyse three dimensions of MAS structures before and during the late stage of the pandemic: (i) traffic and degree centrality distribution within MASs, (ii) intra-MAS airport competition; and (iii) airline competition intensity within MASs. The empirical findings reveal that MAS structures in Europe and the US have remained relatively stable despite the recent pandemic, partly because compared with Asia Pacific, air travel bans in these markets were lifted earlier, and domestic and international airline markets have largely returned to pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, significant changes have been observed in Asia-Pacific MASs due to restrictive bans on international travel and airline operations. As major airlines shifted capacity to domestic markets, in Asia Pacific intra-MAS airport traffic distribution became more balanced, intra-MAS airport competition intensified, smaller airlines dropped out, and airline concentration levels increased. In addition, with more under-utilized slots available, Chinese low-cost carriers increasingly consolidated their operations to selected airports within MASs which would allow them to achieve economies of scale. Overall, this study provides insights into the adaptability of MAS structures in the face of a global crisis.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Aviation under the COVID-19 pandemic: A synopsis from normalcy to chaos and back

Xiaoqian Sun[1], Sebastian Wandelt[1] and Anming Zhang[2]

[1] National Key Laboratory of CNS/ATM, School of Electronic and Information Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China
[2] Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Abstract: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic early in the year 2020, the aviation system has been under extreme pressure for more than two years, with many stakeholders anticipating the moment of recovery. In Summer 2022, eventually, many airlines reached profit margins again. Several airlines even reported to outperform pre-pandemic indicators, including the number of passengers and quarterly revenues. Accordingly, one could say that 2022 is part of the new normalcy in our global aviation system. In this study, we investigate the changes in the global aviation, comparing the year 2019 as a pre-pandemic baseline with the aviation system throughout the year 2022. The connectivity of nearly 8,000 cities worldwide is compared and underlying drivers identified through the design of adequate econometric models. We find that the largest extent of recovery has taken place in secondary cities. We find a rather heterogeneous spatial recovery pattern, which indicates the necessity to better understand the differences in the current aviation system. Moreover, changes of global connectivity indicators, e.g., betweenness centrality, seem to be of rather complex nature. Our study contributes towards a better understanding of the post-pandemic global aviation system and concludes with a set of future research directions, which can hopefully guide other researchers to identify open challenges for the new normalcy.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex

Adoption of the Urban Air Mobility System: Analysis of technical, legal and social aspects from a European perspective

Laura Babetto[1], Ansgar Kirste[1], Jingshu Deng[1], Michael Husemann[1] and Eike Stumpf[1]

[1] Institute of Aerospace Systems, RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany

Abstract: As the demand for mobility and traffic in European urban areas continues to grow, innovative transportation solutions, particularly Urban Air Mobility (UAM), are gaining increasing prominence. UAM takes advantage of the third dimension to reduce ground traffic by integrating low-noise electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs). Nonetheless, the successful implementation of UAM necessitates not only technological advancements but also the legal framework and social considerations to guarantee effective and safe operations. Holistic investigations of UAM are scarce, especially in the European context. Therefore, this study discusses the developments and challenges of UAM from technical, legal, and social perspectives and derives a set of UAM-tailored design drivers for the effective deployment of UAM in Europe. A comprehensive literature review is conducted on the state of the art of UAM technologies, regulations, and public attitudes. Various eVTOL configurations are compared, taking into account pertinent system factors such as energy efficiency and suitability for short- or long-duration missions. Besides, the cost-effectiveness of eVTOL configurations for a specific mission is evaluated through a cost-optimization analysis: the total cost is calculated to be around 2 € per payload-kilometer, which is approximately tenfold the current price for road transport. The regulatory activities of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency are discussed for the period 2017-2022, during which several systematic improvements to the regulations have been introduced. Typical factors for assessing the public acceptance of UAM are identified, and a survey is conducted across European medium-sized cities to gain insights into public opinion. The survey results indicate that 59\% of the respondents are moderately positive toward UAM deployment, representing a more cautious attitude compared to findings from studies conducted in metropolitan cities or countries. Furthermore, 56\% of respondents are willing to try out delivery services with aerial vehicles, while, 32\% would use air taxis. This is in contrast with studies conducted in metropolitan areas or at the country level. Based on the proposed holistic investigation of UAM, the set of design drivers can be identified to reduce uncertainty in UAM adoption and ensure a flawless deployment.

Open HTML (in new window) | Download PDF | Download Bibtex