Transpacific hubbing over Tokyo's Narita airport, which is beset by severe capacity problems while serving a high proportion of nonlocal passengers, is explored from both a historical and an economic standpoint. Tokyo developed into Asia's dominant transpacific gateway because it was within range of the continental U.S. for the first generation of transcontinental jets. Its dominance continued after the introduction of the B747, while a more dispersed pattern of service developed on the U.S. side of the transpacific route system. Reasons for Tokyo's continuing dominance include its strong local market and the liberal fifth freedom rights of U.S. airlines out of Tokyo. A model of airline network competition is applied to the U.S.-Asia market. The model simulates the behavior of profit-maximizing airlines with different network types and hub locations, finding states of Cournot equilibrium. In a baseline run corresponding to the 3rd Quarter, 1985 system, the predicted transpacific network corresponds quite closely to the actual one. The impacts of demand growth, high terminal costs at Tokyo, and strenghtened connectivity of alternative Asia hubs are then explored. Tokyo traffic is found to increase at a somewhat slower pace than overall demand as new non-stop services become feasible. Connecting traffic through Tokyo is found to be highly price sensitive because of the availablity of alternative routings. Strengthening the connectivity of alternative Asian hubs, on the other hand, has a fairly modest effect on the distribution of traffic in the system. The results point to the need for Japan to carefully assess the costs and benefits of its role as Asia's dominant transpacific gateway.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Pergamon Press, Incorporated

    Headington Hill Hall
    Oxford OX30BW,    
  • Authors:
    • Hansen, M
    • Kanafani, A
  • Publication Date: 1990-5

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00495388
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1990 12:00AM