Characterisation of airline networks: A North American and European comparison

This paper contrasts the North American and European air transport markets using the extensive Official Airline Guide Databases. The pattern of network development in the two continental regions is examined using data for 1996-2008. The top ten carriers in both regions are analysed closely in terms of network structures and the basic geographical characteristics of these networks are highlighted. In addition, different measures of air transport activity such as seating capacity, and number of movements and of routes are compared. Visualisations of carrier networks are used to highlight the different network strategies operated by low cost and full service carriers. European carrier networks display many significant differences to North American carrier networks. European carriers generally organise their networks around one or two key nodes within the member state in which they are registered and generally do not operate interactive, continent-wide, multiple hub-and-spoke networks as do North American carriers. European and North American low-cost carriers operate much more interconnected networks than full services carriers. Southwest Airlines stands out as operating a particularly highly interconnected network.


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  • Accession Number: 01154746
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2010 10:25AM