International Journal of Aviation Management (9 papers in press)
Time to Retire: Indicators for Aircraft Fleets
by Jeffrey Newcamp, W.J.C. Verhagen, Richard Curran
Abstract: It is well known that aircraft fleets are aging alongside rising operations and support costs. Logisticians and fleet managers who better understand the milestones and timeline of an aging fleet can recognize potential savings. This paper outlines generalized milestones germane to military aircraft fleets and then discusses the causes that lead to retirement motivations. Then this paper develops a utility per cost metric for aging aircraft fleet comparison as a means for determining when to retire a fleet. It is shown that utility per cost is a pragmatic metric for gauging the desirability of an existing fleet because of naturally occurring zones. Historical data from the United States Air Forces fleet are used to validate the existence of these zones. Lastly, this work highlights the need for increased vigilance during the waning years of a fleets lifecycle and discusses the intricacies of asset divestment planning.
Keywords: aircraft retirement; available aircraft; fleet viability; retirement indicators; aging process.
Strategy and Competitive Rivalry in the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Single Aisle Market
by Siobhan Tiernan, John O'Connell, Dawna Rhoades, David Warnock-Smith
Abstract: The development of new jet aircraft has become the focal point of competition within the commercial aviation industry, pushing product development strategy to the centre of the competitive game. This paper explores the competitive forces of the single aisle aircraft manufacturing market and how the rivalry of competitors affects strategy. A survey was distributed to industry executives, along with interviews with key senior managers, to uncover and critique strategies that the respective Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) developed. It was found that movements in the engine OEM industry have been a key determinant in the competitive positioning of airframe OEMs during the period of this study. The key OEMs have attempted to establish slightly different strategies, with reference to the competitive actions of their rivals, to succeed in the single-aisle segment. Bombardier followed a niche strategy, differentiating itself in that niche by developing a clean sheet design aircraft. Airbus and Boeing use their competencies to create a broad cost and differentiation strategy respectively. Embraer compete with their counterparts by following a niche strategy leaning towards cost leadership in that niche.
Keywords: OEM; aircraft manufacturing; competitive positioning; strategy; competitive advantage.
Network Carriers Strategic Decisions: Does Low Cost Carrier Entry Matter?
by Tamilla Curtis, Dawna Rhoades
Abstract: Good decisions require that each decision-maker accurately predict the strategic moves of the other parties. Dealing with prospective Low Cost Carrier entrants is critical for global network airlines. This research focused on two main issues. First, it investigates competitive reaction by established US airlines when they face an LCC entrant in the less congested, small-sized US regional airports. Second, it examines which of the market indicators are most likely to influence airline fares out of small regional airports with the LCC entry. While the first stage of research demonstrated mix results and did not discovered any patterns in airline behavior with LCC entry due to a large number of other variables influencing airline revenue management, the second stage confirmed that the stage length, number of passengers, number of competitors, number of stops and the oil price do have an impact on airfares.
Keywords: low cost airlines; strategies; regional airports; competition; market.
Employment Motivation of Airline Pilots in the United States
by Kenneth Byrnes, Tim Brady
Abstract: The airline industry is currently experiencing a high volume of airline pilot retirements and the number of pilot retirements over the next decade is projected to increase. At the same time there is a growing requirement for airline travel worldwide. As a result, there is a large demand for new airline pilots. Many regional airlines are reporting that there is a pilot shortage in the airline industry since they are having difficulty hiring enough qualified pilots to meet their demand. Conversely, research has shown that there is a sufficient number of qualified pilots in the United States to meet the current and future demand. As such, there are opposing viewpoints on whether a pilot shortage truly exists. It was discovered that only one-third of qualified pilots choose to seek employment at an airline and roughly 30% of all ATP/Commercial pilots are not currently employed as a pilot. The purpose of this descriptive study was to quantify the motivations of the entire ATP/Commercial Pilot population and to specifically identify the reasons why two-thirds of the ATP/Commercial pilot population have decided not to seek airline employment. The results suggest that insufficient pay is the primary reason that pilots choose non-aviation careers. The data also suggests that an increase in starting salary would motivate many qualified pilots to seek employment as first officers at regional airlines.
Keywords: airline pilot employment motivation; airline pilot supply; airline pilot shortage; airline pilot pay; airline pilot salary; commercial pilot; airline transport pilot; airline pilot demand; airline pilot motivation; pilot profession; airline pilot lifestyle.
IATAs New Distribution Capability and its impact on traditional forms of cooperation in the airline industry
by Klaus Jaeckel, Lydia Maier
Abstract: Intensified competition, stagnating ticket sales and increasing operational costs cause airlines to seek for new sources of revenue. Ancillary services, additional offers which complement the element of mere transportation are therefore becoming more and more crucial in the airline industry. Particularly in indirect distribution channels, the presentation of products and services, especially of those generating optimised extra revenue, depends, to a large degree, on the capabilities and the efficiency of the Global Distribution Systems (GDS). New Distribution Capability (NDC) is a technology which will fundamentally change the traditional GDS-based distribution process that has been in use for decades - specifically in indirect distribution. The quintessence of the NDC concept is to position the airline itself in the center of an interactive offer-generation process by establishing a direct communication between the travel intermediate, respectively the passenger, including the evaluation of all offer-requests by the airline in real time. This evaluation can take place irrespectively of which distribution channel has been utilized and without the involvement of a third party. This has an impact on commercial cooperations with partner airlines. The relevance of established forms of cooperations like Interlining and Code Sharing based on commercial agreements will basically be maintained despite the prospect of the new data standard. Nevertheless, the dynamic interaction between the partners to create a cooperative service-offer enables more flexible collaboration which will significantly influence existing and future partnerships. This will consequently also affect cooperations within the framework of the so called Global Alliances - and thus having an impact on the stability of these conglomerates. Due to the complexity of changing distribution structures, especially due to the necessity to modernize and harmonise existing patterns, specific consequences and actual implications of NDC cannot yet be defined in detail. This will ultimately depend on the kinds- and numbers of participating airlines and on the extent to which they utilise the new standard.
Keywords: Airline; Airline Distribution; Ancillary Services; Acicillary Revenues; New Distribution Capability; IATA; Cooperation; Interlining; Code Sharing; Alliances; Global Alliances; Joint Venture.
Special Issue on: ATRS World Conference 2015 Selected Topics on Air Transport Innovation and Efficiencies
Necessity for Financial Transparency of Airports Toward Efficient Airport Management
Examination of Aviation Fuel Tax Allocation
by Munekatsu Usami, NOBUO AKAI
Abstract: Airport management in Japan must pursue efficiency and transparency. This research focuses on the allocation scheme of aviation fuel tax to local governments as an original revenue source for airports. In view of governance, after reviewing the current practice and issues, we discuss a favorable model for promoting transparency, followed by tracing up the current officially-available figures to find out the allocation amounts for each airport of aviation fuel tax, we conduct trial calculations under several assumptions to reveal how changes to the allocation scheme affect the revenue source proportion for each airport. Based on the results, we conduct another trial calculation of the financial balance for state-owned airports and introduce an airport facility charge to clarify the tax scheme to show options for better airport management in Japan.
Keywords: Aviation fuel tax; transparency; financial balance; individual operation; facility charge.
Future Passenger Air Traffic Modelling: A theoretical Concept to integrate Quality of Travel, Cost of Travel and Capacity Constraints
by Robin Ghosh, Katrin Kolker, Ivan Terekhov, Volker Gollnick
Abstract: Systems Analysis requires the modelling of possible future evolutions of the global air transportation system (ATS) as alternative quantitative scenarios. To do this, a generic approach is needed that encompasses the different aspects of the ATS, including global passenger flows, aircraft movements as well as current fleet aircraft types and potential new aircraft designs. The starting point are varying external socio-economic scenarios from which at first the future realized air passenger demand at city pair level is estimated as a global network between city pairs. From the demand networks successively passenger routes networks and eventually aircraft movements networks with information on aircraft generations are derived for future time steps. This paper shows in sample analyses the results of the global modelling approach at city pair level applied to the socio-economic scenario of Jorgen Randers 2052 . Global frequency distributions are shown as a function of great circle distance for sample aircraft sizes at future time steps. We conclude, an adequate capability that considers the feedbacks of changes of (1) quality of travel, (2) cost of travel, and (3) constraints at the supply side on realized demand requires consistent and generic modelling of an aircraft movements networks with information on aircraft generations. The continuous modelling at city pair level from the very beginning and the thinking in successive aircraft generations are especially valuable for global climate impact assessments of spatially dependent non-CO2 emissions. This is much needed for holistic strategy developments in policy making to tackle the essence of the climate issue of civil aviation in the long run.
Keywords: Aviation Network Modelling; Systems Analysis; Scenario Analysis; Market Outlook; Future Development of Air Transport; Policy Analysis.
Timetable management to enhance airline schedule reliability and airfield operation performance at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
by Suiling Li
Abstract: To enable the efficient operation of an airfield and the efficiency of timetable management it is necessary to develop a model that can measure and check the current timetable whether they meet the airfield operation performance. This study develops an optimization mathematic planning model to formulate objective function of the taxi fuel cost and arrangement of arrival/departure time points for flights timetable within one peak hour. Results show the average taxiing cost and taxiing time for per flight will be 351.25 US dollars and 8.7-19.15 minutes. If pilots control the speed at15-35 kilometer/hour, the total minimum taxiing time of 20 flights can be decreased to 161-186 minutes. If the pilots use runway 5L to take off/land, it can save 1299 US dollars in one hour. The interval length of time points at timetable is suggested to be five minutes for easy management and control.
Keywords: timetable management; airline schedule reliability; mathematics programming.
Stated In-Flight Service Preferences for Short to Medium-Haul Air Trips
by Florian Heinitz, Marcus Hirschberger
Abstract: This contribution adds recent empirical findings on airline passengers preference structures, putting emphasis on the European short and medium-range leisure flight market. The conducted choice experiments specifically tackled the trade-off between catering service levels and possible variations of air fares. Choice-based conjoint measurement and discrete choice analysis were deployed as evaluation techniques. The underlying data was generated by two waves of stated preference surveys of slightly varying questionnaire design. Based on a segmentation of the continental leisure air market into three classes of block hours, ternary and binary choice situations - with/without consideration of the status quo offering - were created. The appropriate alternative characteristics for each segment were drawn from four levels of in-flight catering vs. four levels of fare differentials. The results obtained for each of the three flight time segments include part-worths of catering and willingness-to-pay, which were then compared with existing studies. Attributes of passengers susceptible for up-selling or an un-bundling of catering could be ascertained. The models were operationalized for a decision-support tool for maximizing ancillary contribution margin by pre-ordered meals and in-flight sales of food and beverages.
Keywords: Stated preference; airline catering; choice-based conjoint measurement; discrete choice analysis.