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9.1.2: The demand of air transportation

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    The variables that influence in the potential demand of air transportation in a determined airport can be itemized as follows:

    • Historical tendency of geographical related airports.
    • Demographic variables of the population under the region of influence of the airport.
    • The economical character (industrial, technological, financial, touristic) of the region.
    • Intermodal transportation network.
    • Urban and regional strategic development plan.
    • Competitors prices.

    These items can be reduced to one: the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of the region. GDP per capita and demand of air transportation are strongly correlated.

    截屏2022-03-02 下午8.53.29.png
    Table 9.1: List of biggest airports in 2015 in volume of passengers. % of change refers to the increase of traffic with respect to 2014. Data retrieved from Wikipedia.

    截屏2022-03-02 下午8.55.57.png
    Table 9.2: List of biggest airports in 2015 by aircraft movements. % of change refers to the increase of movements with respect to 2014. Data retrieved from Wikipedia.

    Therefore, according to the long-term estimation of GDP growth, the demand of air transportation is also expected to increase as a worldwide average rate of 5%. Thus, existing airports should be enlarged to absorb increasing demand, but also new airports should be opened in the future. Table 9.1 and Table 9.2 give a quantitative measure of the busiest airports worldwide.

    Analyzing the biggest airports by number of passenger, obviously the big cities appear in the first positions, i.e., Beijing, London, Tokio, Chicago, Los Angles, Paris, etc. Notice however that Atlanta, not such an important city, is the world’s busiest airport. This is due to the fact that Atlanta is Delta’s hub. Also Dallas, American Airlines’ hub, appears in the first positions. Other important issues to notice are: the increasing presence of east and south east asian airports, with very important inter-annual growths; and the fact that Madrid Barajas dropped 12% in 2013 (also 9% in 2012). The later can be explained due to two different phenomena: the very important crisis that Europe, particularly the mediterranean countries, are suffering; and the acquisition of Iberia, Spanish flag company whose hub was Barajas, by British Airways, which has shifted a little bit the South America’s connexion demand towards United Kingdom. In 2015, Madrid Barajas recovered traffic growing 12%. The privatisation of AENA in 2014 might partially explain it.

    In terms of movements, USA’s airports cope the first positions. This is due to the fact that many cities in the United States act as hubs. Many connections between american cities are done on a daily basis with medium-haul aircraft types (transporting less people). Also, oversees flights that arrive at the United States typically go first to the airline’s hub and then transit to a domestic flight. On the contrary, asian companies have recently started an strategy towards buying big airplanes (A380), transporting thus more people with less movements.

    9.1.2: The demand of air transportation is shared under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Manuel Soler Arnedo via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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