In Europe, intercontinental flights are concentrated at a few large hubs and some major secondary airports like Manchester or Düsseldorf. The vast majority of non-hubs, however, are hardly present in the long haul market, even though many of them possess sufficient infrastructure to handle wide body aircraft. Nevertheless, additional non-hubs intend to enlarge their runways with the intention to "go long haul". We discuss and empirically test potential factors influencing the choice of secondary European airlines by long haul carriers, employing OLS and logistic regression analyses. Hereby, we can evaluate the relevance of runway infrastructure with regard to the long haul sector.
It shows that GDP is the main driver of long haul flight supply at secondary airports, while intense competition by larger airports has a reverse impact. Airports in the UK tend to attract intercontinental air services easier than those in mainland Europe, possibly caused by high numbers of immigrants from overseas and strong relations with the U.S. A sufficient runway length is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for intercontinental flights. The results might be of relevance for regional airport planning and could help avoid further inefficient infrastructure investments at airports with low demand.
Long Haul Traffic Potential of Secondary Airports (Download Poster PDF [german])
12th Air Transport Research Society (ATRS) World ConferenceAbu Dhabi, June 27-30, 2009 DREAMING OF NEW YORK AND DUBAI – SHOULD SECONDARY AIRPORTS EXTEND THEIR RUNWAYS TO ATTRACT LONG HAUL FLIGHTS?Dipl.-Kfm. Sven Maertens (Downlad Paper PDF [english])