Air carrier demand
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Modeling air carrier demand is instrumental to understanding the relative importance of competitive forces that shape the airline environment and determine a carrier's market share. This paper develops a conceptual framework for analyzing carrier demand in a competitive context and applies that framework to study air carrier choice. This framework can be used by carriers to assess the market share and revenue implications of service design, pricing, marketing, and promotional strategies.
We adopt an individual traveler choice approach to identify and measure the relative importance of factors which influence air travel demand. Travelers' patterns of air travel, perceptions of carrier service, frequent-flyer program membership, and carrier choice behavior are used to estimate models of individual carrier choice. These models indicate the importance of carrier presence in the origin market, carrier service in a city pair market (share of flights), carrier quality of service reflected in ratings by individual travelers, and traveler loyalty reflected in frequent-flyer program membership on carrier choice.
The importance of these variables and the specific quantitative relationship estimated, can be used to estimate the market share impact of service design, pricing, marketing, and promotional changes. The empirical results of this study demonstrate the dramatic impact of frequent-flyer program participation on carrier choice for individual flights. These effects are particularly strong among the most important air carrier market, the frequent business traveler.
Key wordsair travel demand carrier choice carrier loyalty frequent flyer programs traveler attitudes
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