- The competitive landscape of air transport in Europe
- Journal of Transport Geography
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam School of Economics Research Institute (ASE-RI)
Competition between airlines and airports increased significantly since the deregulation of the intra-European air transport market in 1997. The passenger has a wider choice in terms of routings and departure airports than twenty-five years ago and pays a lower price. In this paper we investigate in which parts of Europe airline and airport competition are most intense and how the competitive landscape has changed since the liberalisation of the intra-European market.
Competition levels are modelled for all air transport markets available to consumers in each western-European municipality using a Multinomial Logit (MNL) model. This allows us to determine how competitive the air transport product available to consumers in each of those municipalities truly is and how competition levels have changed. As opposed to most other competition studies we take all viable direct and indirect flight alternatives into account, as well as competing alternatives from nearby (adjacent) airports. This makes it the most extensive analysis of competition in the European aviation industry performed to date.
As expected the results show that airline competition, allowing for grouping of the airlines belonging to the same alliance together, has in general increased since the liberalisation of the intra-European market. This can mainly be ascribed to the rise of the low cost business model. The spatial analysis however shows an uneven outcome. Changes in airline competition are most pronounced in areas that were previously not well served, such as the more remote regions in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. In Germany airline competition is lagging behind due to the strong dominance of the STAR alliance. In large parts of Scandinavia, but also in parts of France and Spain, airline competition is considerably less. These areas are often served only by a handful of airports and/or airlines, limiting airline choice and therefore competition.
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