Recently the domestic aviation industry has been influenced by rapidly growing ultra low-cost carriers (ULCCs). The pattern of airport markets served by ULCCs is incongruous with legacy carriers and low-cost airlines alike. Existing literature, however, is limited for North American ULCCs: research has only recently begun to identify them separately from mainstream low-cost carriers. This study sought to understand the market factors that influence ULCC service decisions. The relationship between ULCC operations and airport market factors was analyzed using three methods: mapping 2019 flight data for four ULCCs combined, two regression analyses to evaluate variables, and three case studies examining distinct scenarios through interviews with airport managers. Enplanement data were assembled for every domestic airport offering scheduled service in 2019. Independent variables were collected for each Part 139 airport. The first model estimated an ordinary least squares regression model to analyze ULCC enplanements. The second model estimated a binary logistic equation for presence of ULCC service. Case studies for Bellingham, Waco, and Lincoln were selected using compelling airport factors and relevant ULCC experience. Maps of ULCC enplanements revealed concentrations of operations on the East Coast. Both regression analyses showed strong relationships between population and non-ULCC enplanements (two measures of airport market size) and ULCC operations. A significant relationship also existed between tourism and enplanements. In the logit model, distance and competition variables were associated with ULCC presence. Case studies emphasized the importance of airport fees and competition in ULCC preferences, although aeronautical costs were generally not significant in the regressions.
- Analysis of airports served by ultra low-cost carriers
- catchment area
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This is the prepublication version of Taplin, D., Kuby, M., Salon, D., & King, D. (2023). Analysis of Airports Served by Ultra Low-Cost Carriers. Transportation Research Record. ASU Library KEEP repository https://hdl.handle.net/2286/R.2.N.189603
The final published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/03611981231164081
The statistical data supporting this publication are available at
Taplin, Drew; Kuby, Michael; Salon, Deborah; King, David, 2023, "Replication Data for: Ultra Low Cost Carrier Airports 2019", https://doi.org/10.48349/ASU/OMASM4, ASU Library Research Data Repository, V1, UNF:6:TFAk3BYO3k9w237Q2z9rJg== [fileUNF]