Access, Fares, Frequency: Effects on Airport Traffic

by Richard deNeufville, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Chmn.; Technology and Policy Program, Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.,
Clifford R. King, Transportation Planner; Port of Oakland, Oakland, Calif.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 109-125

Document Type: Journal Paper


The effects of airport access, and of airline fares and frequency, on the number of passengers using an airport are examined through a case study of the Texas intrastate air market. During the early 1970's, when Southwest Airlines engaged in fierce competition with other carriers and when Dallas/Fort Worth airport opened, major changes occurred in one factor while others remained constant. This context provides several special, quasi-experimental, situations which make it possible to identify the effects of each factor. The analysis confirms that: (1)Airport access can have an important impact on short haul air travel (the move by most carriers from close-in Dallas/Love to the more distant Dallas/Fort Worth airport led to a drop of about 12% in this traffic); (2)the fare elasticity is approximately one for this domestic traffic; and (3)relative frequency of flights is an important determinant of an airline's market share, according to an S-shaped relationship, except when significant price and locational factors intervene and dominate this phenomenon.

Subject Headings: Traffic analysis | Fares | Airports and airfields | Air traffic | Case studies | Elastic analysis | Passengers | Flight | Texas | United States

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