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The impact of hub hierarchy, alliances and concentration on airfare pricing in European hub-to-hub markets

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Over the past years, full-service carriers in Europe have deployed multi-hub-and-spoke systems by joining alliances to exploit network economies. The concentration of flights on a small group of airports leads to the emergence of ‘fortress hubs’ and subsequently creates hub-to-hub markets in Europe reminiscent of the US aviation market. This paper explores the factors influencing the pricing behaviour of full-service carriers in European hub-to-hub markets. Drawing on a 2009 dataset containing route and airfare information, we establish an econometric model to estimate the impact of route structure, alliances, and market concentration on the pricing of European full-service carriers in these markets. Three types of hubs (i.e., primary, secondary and tertiary hubs) are hereby identified to investigate the route structure within the hub-to-hub network. The stepwise regression results suggest that alliances on routes connecting two primary hubs, market share inequality and competition from low-cost carriers influence average airfares of full-service carriers in the European hub-to-hub markets.
Book: Air Transport Research Society, 17th Conference, Proceedings
Number of pages: 1
Publication year:2013