Mapping world city networks through airline flows: context, relevance, and problems

This paper contextualizes and reviews the burgeoning research in which data on air passenger flows are used to analyze a network of world cities. Rather than taking the relevance of such airline statistics on trust, we consider their advantages and drawbacks in the context of the different approaches devised in the empirical research at large. To assess the potential of data on air passenger flows in this context, we construct a taxonomy of approaches that distinguishes between information on global corporate organization and large-scale infrastructure networks. While this evaluation suggests that information on air passenger flows may indeed be a prime data source in this context, it is equally clear that the relevance of such research is potentially undermined by inadequate statistics. It is argued that future research should explore and/or construct alternative airline datasets that allow for more meaningful analyses.


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  • Accession Number: 01109980
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 31 2008 8:10AM