Svetlana Surovitskikh / The relationship between South African aviation policy in Africa and air passenger traffic flows

Title: The relationship between South African aviation policy in Africa and air passenger traffic flows
Name PhD candidate: Svetlana Surovitskikh
Organization: University of Pretoria, South Africa
Supervisor: Professor Berendien Anna Lubbe
Email address:
Expected date of completion: November 2012

Abstract of thesis:
The study investigates the simultaneous impact of six key predictors, one of which is South Africa’s pro-Yamoussoukro Decision aviation policy, on air passenger traffic flows over an 11 year time period (2000 to 2010) in five markets: the intra-African; the SADC; West; East and North African. The aviation policy is reflected in the design of its respective bilateral air services agreements and is measured by the four variants of the Air Liberalisation Index, developed by the WTO. A mixed research methodology is followed. Qualitatively, a two-round Delphi technique is employed to determine the views of aviation experts on those features of BASAs, and those unrelated to BASAs, that have an influence on air passenger traffic flows between country-pairs in Africa. Quantitatively, a fixed one-way panel regression technique is applied to the selected 11 year panel data set of 42 African countries, representing five markets.

Wan Mazlina Wan Mohamed / Developing regional airport value model to measure the value of airport noise on economics and social impacts

Title: Developing regional airport value model to measure the value of airport noise on economics and social impacts
Name PhD candidate: Wan Mazlina Wan Mohamed
Organization: Delft University of Technology
Supervisor: Prof. Richard Curran
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: 2012

Abstract of thesis: Most of the time aircraft noise is considered as annoyance to society but to airports, it means revenues flowing into their airport. Therefore, aircraft noise may have different value to different recipients. A number of noise regulations have been introduced to reduce noise at airports, but these noise policies are often based on acoustic and economic considerations only. Non-acoustical, social and political factors should also be taken into considered to evaluate the ‘value’ of noise at the airport.
The aim of this research is to develop a value assessment tool for regional airport. This tool will assist regulators or airport authorities to evaluate the value of noise at their regional airport.

Vanessa Liebert / External heterogeneity in airport benchmarking and efficiency analysis

Title: External heterogeneity in airport benchmarking and efficiency analysis
Name PhD candidate: Vanessa Liebert
Organization: Jacobs University Bremen
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Gert Brunekreeft and Prof. Dr. Adalbert FX Wilhelm
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: Summer 2010

Abstract of thesis: Traditionally, the majority of airports worldwide were state owned and operated as public utilities. However, the liberalization of the aviation industry has changed the economic structure of airports since the late Eighties. A number of privatization processes have been executed which have increased the degree of commercialization at airports. Just like their public counterparts, privatized airports are still regional monopolies and are subject to economic regulation so that they cannot abuse their market power. However, the question arises if the competition in highly populated European countries has increased since then. As a result, the changing management decisions by public and private airport operators such as the outsourcing of labour intensive services (e.g. ground handling) might have led to productivity and efficiency changes.

An important instrument for airport operators and stakeholders to measure the airports' productivity and efficiency and an approach for the regulator to set the price of airport charges is the efficiency analysis to conduct a benchmarking. However, producing meaningful comparisons between airports indicate several difficulties such as the heterogeneity of airports, the data availability, methodological inconsistency, and how to deal with factors that are beyond managerial control such as environmental variables and policy decisions (see Kamp et al. 2007 and Reinhold et al 2008). Some benchmarking studies have tried to develop a model to make the airports under review more comparable. The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), a consultancy in the United Kingdom, has adjusted the data to the core activities of an airport namely the provision and operation of the terminal infrastructure. Data regarding offered services by an airport such as ground handling and non-aviation activities have been excluded from the cost and revenue side accordingly. However, the data has been obtained from aggregate financial statements in annual reports and the adjustment of the data is based on estimations.

For this reason the PhD-candidate aims to critically review previous studies on airport benchmarking and efficiency assessment and to find solutions for improvements. The studies by Kamp et al. (2007) and Reinhold et al. (2008) were dealing with the difficulties in benchmarking addressing primarily the heterogeneity aspect putting airport operating in a less favourable environment in a more disadvantageous situation. Building on these papers the PhD-candidate aims submit three different papers that shall push the abilities of airport benchmarking and efficiency assessment forward. The first paper will be a critical literature review on existing studies and gives recommendation for future research. The second paper improves the benchmarking tool to provide more meaningful comparisons in a heterogeneous industry without the loss of model discrimination. The third paper will assess the pure managerial inefficiency by isolating the external effects to gain information if management inefficiency or factors beyond managerial control affect the airports efficiency to a greater extent.

Toral Patel / Safety implications of intermodal switching

Title: Safety implications of intermodal switching
Name PhD candidate: Toral Patel
Organization: University of Westminster
Supervisor: Dr. Nigel Dennis
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: 2011-2012

Abstract of thesis: The central thesis of this dissertation is that at both a theoretical and a practical policy level the potential contribution of cross-modal switching to improving overall transport safety has been almost entirely overlooked. In the few instances where cross-modal switching has been considered as a policy tool or option this has been in the context of environmental rather than safety policy.

On many transport routes or journeys there are a number of modal options and so choices need to be made by the consumer of transport services. It is now well established by comparative studies of the risk of death/serious injury per passenger km in different modes that levels of safety differ very markedly between modes. This suggests that overall transport safety could be improved by encouraging or even requiring transport consumers to switch to safer modes.

The dissertation seeks to develop this insight both at a theoretical level, by setting it within the literature on transport safety, and at a practical level by investigating the precise safety gains on specific journey types by modal switching or changing the modal mix. The implications for overall transport safety policy are then investigated.

The dissertation is underpinned by two convictions. Firstly that transport safety policy can only gain from being put on a rationally informed footing. Secondly that transport safety policies have in the past been developed with reference to single modes in a tightly compartmentalised manner. By treating modes independently and without reference to alternatives rather than in a comprehensive manner, policy has hitherto disregarded the considerable potential contribution to overall passenger safety of simple modal switching which for many journeys may be a relatively low cost policy option.

Tiziana D'Alfonso / Concentration and market power of carriers in airports

Title: Concentration and market power of carriers in airports
Name PhD candidate: Tiziana D'Alfonso
Organization: University of Bergamo
Supervisor: Prof. Alberto Nastasi
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: December 2012

Abstract of thesis: Deregulation in air transport has not given the expected results in reaching a competitive arrangement:recent dynamics in the industry have been outlining an increase in the degree of concentration in the supply of air services, and a market polarization all around fewcarries with a relevant market share, challenged by smaller competitors . Recent analysis confirms this trend by concentration and saturation indexes, calculated for the 20 biggest airport in Europe (ICSSAI 2008). In this framework, concentration in air transport industry and possible forms of cooperation and vertical integration between carriers and airports are analyzed with reference to the effects on pricing policy and investment incentives to airport management in congestible structures. Thus, this research activity will define a model of analysis which will take into account the two following items.

a) - Analysis of the nature of carriers' strategic interaction - The project aims at identifying the models of interaction that best represent airlines' strategic behaviour with respect to the degree of concentration and market structure in the airport - carrier system. On this basis, the models developed so far are critically analyzed and eventually modified with reference to nationwide and world-wide data concerning airlines' direct and indirect competition within airports. The analysis will take into account the presence of alliances and code-sharing agreements between carries, so as to avoid considering competition among airlines which, in fact, act jointly in the supply of particular air routes.

b) Effects of carriers concentration over investment incentives in airport capacity - Airlines’ strategic interaction and the forms of cooperation between airport and the incumbent carrier(common ownership or other forms of vertical integration) are examined in order to evaluate the possibility of carriers’ involvement in defining an efficient investment program.

Silvanos Gwarinda / Development of a procedure for the quantification of indirect temporal connectivity at hub airports based on a pattern-recognition algorithm

Title: Development of a procedure for the quantification of indirect temporal connectivity at hub airports based on a pattern-recognition algorithm
Name PhD candidate: Silvanos Gwarinda
Organization: University of Westminster
Supervisor: Dr. Nigel Dennis
Expected date of completion: November 2012

Abstract of thesis: The study seeks to investigate the factors influencing long-term tourist flows by air between the United Kingdom and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The SADC is a regional body comprising of 15 countries in Southern Africa. The focus of the study, however, is mainly on South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Even though the Southern African Region had experienced some long periods of tourism growth, there is now a noticeable decline in the growth rates, even though a positive trend is forecasted to continue.

The study adopts both quantitative and qualitative approaches to identify key factors that would have a long-term effect on tourist flows by air between the UK and the Southern African region. Two sets of face-to-face interview surveys were conducted in 2005 and 2008 with key tourism suppliers from both South Africa and Zimbabwe. The main purpose was to get responses from the respondents in greater depth on attitudes, perceptions and experiences on key issues affecting tourism development in Southern Africa.

The study concludes by focusing on a long-term-based scenario building approach by constructing and testing a variety of scenarios each describing a possible future position within the tourism and air transport sectors in Southern Africa by 2020.

Roger Parker / Virtual Markets: The Application of Agent-Based Modeling to Marketing Science, using an Agent-Based Model of the Global Airline Passenger Market

Title: Virtual Markets: The Application of Agent-Based Modeling to Marketing Science, using an Agent-Based Model of the Global Airline Passenger Market
Name PhD candidate: Roger A. Parker
Organization: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Supervisor: Dr. Paul Wang, Dr. Siggi Gudergan
Email address:
Date of completion: September 22, 2010

Abstract of thesis: Advances in any science ultimately depend on the creation of instruments that can create observations from which theories can be hypothesized and tested. This dissertation proposes that significant advances in marketing science can be realized with the engagement of the advanced computational science technique of agent-based modeling. To support this proposition, the methodology is examined from first principles to concrete implementation. The ontological and epistemological bases for agent-based modeling are developed, and the evolutionary science paradigm as it applies to marketing (for which the method is most useful), is reinforced with extensive analysis of evolved universal human behaviors, especially behavior relevant to marketing. The concept of the narrative framework is then posited. The primary property of the framework is the central role of choice as an expression of value and resource allocation. This framework then explicates the notion of virtual market, and an appropriate definition of agent derived. The computing requirements and skills needed to actually building a virtual market are also proscribed.

Then a detailed, operational example of a virtual market is laid out. Called AirVM, it portrays the dynamics of the market for passenger air travel by simulating the product definition and ticket purchasing process for every passenger travelling on every regularly scheduled commercial flight in the world over a week time period – over 40,000,000 passengers flying on thousands of flights, offered by hundreds of carriers. The synthetic populations of passengers (customers) and airlines (sellers) have empirically-derived distributions of salient properties, called incidence distributions, which are described in detail with empirical data to support their formulation and parameter estimation. The computing logic and samples of the interface are presented, and the system critiqued using appropriate agent-based modeling criteria.

The major contributions of the research are the verification of the ontological suitability of agent-based modeling to marketing science, the empirical confirmation of the evolutionary basis for marketing behavior, the conceptual structure for construction of agent-based models in market research, and the proscription of how to construct a virtual market, illustrated with a detailed example. There are also several contributions to the airline passenger industry that emerge from the work. Finally, the dissertation contributes another example of the application of the technique to the burgeoning literature on agent-based modeling.

Nicola Volta / Influences of liberalization and privatization on European airports efficiency

Title: Influences of liberalization and privatization on European airports efficiency
Name PhD candidate: Nicola Volta
Organization: University of Bergamo
Supervisor: Prof. Gianmaria Martini
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: 2012

Abstract of thesis: My research is intended to investigate how the process of progressive liberalization and privatization have influenced European airports efficiency. In order to estimate the impact of the liberalization and privatization processes on airports’ efficiency, I want to evaluate whether an higher level of indirect competition within a particular catchment area positively influences the efficiency of airports belonging to that area. It is also interesting to study the impact of airlines on airports’ efficiency.
Finally, the significant presence of governments in the ownership structure could affect airports’ performance. The determination of the economic efficiency of an airport entails the estimation of a (cost or production) frontier; an airport is efficient only if it operates on the frontier. The elasticity of scale is evaluated at the frontier (even when the airport is not efficient does not operate on the frontier). The frontier can be estimate by implementing parametric (Stochastic frontier analysis) or non parametric (DEA) methods which use a firms’ inputs and outputs data set.

Jost Daft / Perspectives for the LCC business model

Title: Perspectives for the LCC business model
Name PhD candidate: Jost Daft
Organization: University of Cologne
Supervisor: Prof. Werner Delfmann
Email address:
Expected date of completion: October 2014

Pere Suau Sanchez / Multi-scalar approach to aviation: A perspective for Europe, Spain and Barcelona

Title: Multi-scalar approach to aviation: A perspective for Europe, Spain and Barcelona
Name PhD candidate: Pere Suau-Sanchez
Organization: Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Supervisor: Montserrat Pallares-Barbera
Email address:
Expected date of completion: June 2011

Abstract of thesis: The PhD dissertation of Pere Suau-Sanchez deals with the existing multi-scalar tensions in air transportation from a geographical perspective. In fact, air transport has been a common field in geography. Many geographers have contributed to this field in topics such as airline networks, airport city developments and environmental impact of air transportat. Yet, many of the contributions to the analysis of air transport from economics, engineering, architecture and geography have been developed in a quite sectorial or thematic way. This dissertation tries to fill this gap in the literature by developing a comprehensive framework for the analysis of air transport strategies (including airline networks, airport developments and management, airport embeddedness in the region and environmental issues).

Airports are the point where global and local flows intersect and airline networks allow the transit of people to provide tacit knowledge exchanges. This means that airline networks represent the architecture through which productive resources, social values and economic interests circulate. Hence, to have a clear perspective on air transportation a multi-scale and relational analysis is required. In this research, a three level analysis is carried out: macro scale (airline network connectivity and seat capacity distribution), meso scale (airport regions) and local scale (noise conflicts management). Each of these levels is analyzed independently and, also, in relation to the others, since changes in the macro scale will affect the meso and the local scale, and vice versa.

In this regard, this research pretends to overcome the tendency of single-theory perspectives by putting forward a heterodox theoretical framework fed from several theoretical approaches: critical economic geography, relational economic geography, evolutionary economics, airline economics, network theory, psychology and engineering. This multidisciplinary approach responds to the evolutionary and hybrid nature of knowledge, which many times involves a crossover between science positions apparently incompatible. Also, this multidisciplinary approach implies the use of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, which provides a more comprehensive picture of reality, without leaving behind analytical elements that cannot be translated into a number.

Kung-Yeun Jeng / Exploring Strategies for Improving Service Quality of Taiwan Domestic Airline from the Perspective of Service Marketing

Title: Exploring Strategies for Improving Service Quality of Taiwan Domestic Airline from the Perspective of Service Marketing
Name PhD candidate: Kung-Yeun Jeng
Organization: National Chiao Tung University
Supervisor: Prof. Chen-Min Feng
Email address:

Abstract of thesis: Due to the unique oligopoly nature of domestic market, each individual airline in Taiwan can no longer increase her market share by simply through “pricing strategies”, and needs to compete aggressively via better “service quality.” Hence, service improvement has emerged as one of the most imperative issues for all Taiwan domestic airlines. Grounded on the notion of service marketing triangle, this study has focused on the following key aspects: external marketing, internal marketing, and interactive marketing. Of particular emphases are on prioritizing items for service quality improvement, identifying key factors that may affect the loyalty of customers, and investigating the interrelationships between employee satisfaction, service behavior, and customer loyalty. The data for this study is based on of field surveys from airline passengers and the airline first-line service staffs in Taiwan.

The research methodology employed in this study consists of three principal model components. The Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA) for prioritizing the list of service improvement items for different customer groups constitutes the first component. Data Mining (DM) exploration for contributing factors for customer loyalty and for distinguishing loyal customers is the core of the second component. The analysis has also been extended to the interrelations between customer loyalty and airline employee satisfaction. A Linear Structure Relations (LISREL) model, designed to analyze the impacts of employee work satisfaction level on the service behavior and the resulting customer loyalty, functions as the third component of the research methodology.

The research results indicate that in identifying and prioritizing service improvement items, the foremost important tasks for the airline are to improve her service in keeping “flights on time”, and to maintain her competitive advantage in ensuring the “flight safety.” This study has also found that different customer groups share the similar concern regarding the priority list of service improvement items. This research also indicate that by using the “repurchasing intention” as the key measurement factor the most critical service items for loyal customers are “efficient and reliable services by counter staffs” and “flight safety.” Hence, airlines should first best allocate their available resources in making improvements on these two critical aspects, and then make efforts on upgrading those service items that may affect a passenger’s willingness to recommend his/her selected airline to others. Those items include a diversified reservation system, broadcast quality of the cabin crew, and friendly and efficient response of counter staffs to customer inquiries. The survey results seem to reveal that airline loyal passengers generally take into account more factors in making their recommendations to others. A byproduct of the passenger loyalty analysis is a set of rules for airline operators to distinguish different clusters of customers and their loyalty levels to their selected airlines.

In the study of key factors for improving customer loyalty, the research results reflect that the quality of both the in-role and extra-role services indeed play a significant role on a passenger’s selection. Furthermore, extra-role service behavior seems to have far influence than that of in-role service behavior, reflecting its role as the most important intermediate variable associated with employee satisfaction and customer loyalty. Hence, an airline should emphasize and encourage employees’ extra-role services via training and the recruiting process so as to enhance the loyalty level of target customers. With respect to the design of management strategies for improving the satisfaction level of employees, an airline should well manage its internal marketing task based on their needs, and accomplish them through “organizational commitments” and “managerial confidence.”

Jolanta Rekiel / The relationship of the actual security and perceived security at airports

Title: The relationship of the actual security and perceived security at airports
Name PhD candidate: Jolanta Maria Rekiel
Organization: University of Amsterdam
Supervisor: Prof. Jaap de Wit
Email address:
Expected date of completion: November 2014

Abstract of thesis: Since 9/11 the security of air passengers has become a major concern of various states, including the European Union. The national governments as well as the Commission have taken a number of steps to ensure passenger security both at airports and in the sky. Nevertheless, security incidents happen from time to time. This has a number of implications on the air traffic, revenues of the airports and airlines, implemented security measures or feeling insecurity. The regulation is regularly adapted as a response to the occurring events. The airports implement new measures and take new precautions. They spend millions of Euros on security equipment and security staff to ensure security at airports and in the sky. Passengers have to follow the rules and spend more time at security checks than ever before. With every security incident that receives enough attention from the media, the passenger traffic drops. After a rather short period of time, however, the passenger traffic returns to the level of before the incident. In the mean time, the governments and airports react strongly to new threats and impose new rules and security measures. These, unlike rather short drop in traffic, are implemented for months or years. The new role of governments is not designed to intervene in airline economic decisions but it rather contributes to a long-term structural change in the aviation security. Before taking future decisions on making capital intensive investments, an analysis of costs and the benefits should be done. There is a number of studies that analyze the economic impacts and cost effectiveness of aviation security measures in the US or Australia. Substantial gaps in the European transport security research have been identified including the economic impacts of security measures as well as human drivers of (in)security. Passenger experience as well as perception of (in)security should be analysed and taken into account in designing the systems and considered in the CBA research.

Little is known on the current perspective of passengers on the existing security measures as well as their perception on the current security levels and its economic impacts. It is unclear how security accidents and incidents impact the human drivers of (in)security. With current crisis and budget tightening every policy, including security policy, will come under increased scrutiny to yield benefits for the costs made. It is an issue that will be crucial for many years to come, at least until 2020.

Jiefang Huang / Aviation Safety and ICAO, 2009

Title: Aviation Safety and ICAO, 2009
Name PhD candidate: Jiefang Huang
Organization: Leiden University
Supervisor: Professor Peter P. Haanappel
Email address:
Date of completion: Completed 2011

Abstract of thesis: The thesis addresses the issue of aviation safety under the rule of law. Aviation safety is a global concern. While air transport is considered a safe mode of travel, it is susceptible to inherent risks of flight, the use of force, and terrorist acts. Consequently, within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), global efforts have been made to establish individual and collective responsibility of States to provide safety oversight, to refrain from the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight, and to prevent and punish the acts of hijacking and sabotage endangering the safety of civil aviation. Some of the duties in this respect are emerging as obligations erga omnes, and all States have a legal interest in their observance. The current study is intended to analyze, from a legal point of view, the mandate of ICAO relating to aviation safety. It describes the contributions of ICAO to the global safety regime and mechanisms. At the same time, on the basis of the experience and lessons learned from the past, suggestions have been made to rationalize ICAO’s quasi-legislative function and enforcement function, in order to enhance aviation safety through the rule of law.

Jane Edwards / Motivation of LCC passengers

Title: Motivation of LCC passengers
Name PhD candidate: Jane Edwards
Organization: University of Westminster
Supervisor: Prof. Austin Smyth and Dr Nigel Dennis
Email address:
Expected date of completion: October 2010

Abstract of thesis: As the presence of low cost airlines continues to grow and takes on an increasingly significant role within the global aviation sector, this PhD thesis seeks to explore the relationship between consumer behaviour and the business operations of the airlines that arguably seek to offer passengers low cost air travel.

The study primarily adopts a UK-based focus, in which relatively little research currently exists, whilst drawing upon examples from a wider context. Social and psychological factors of consumer behaviour are considered in respect of the propensity to travel with an airline and the implications of consumer decision-making from a supply-side viewpoint wherein the business models and networks developed by low cost airlines are explored.

It is the intention of the study to add to the behavioural literature on air travel research, whilst formulating a quantitative approach to analysing consumer decision-making and airline choice. The methodology for the study will draw upon existing research within the subject areas of social psychology, tourism and transport amongst others; whilst also adopting a field based approach through the use of case studies, interviews with passengers and airline representatives and statistical analysis of airline services and networks.

Jan Kwakkel / Dealing with Uncertainty in Airport Strategic Planning

Title: Dealing with Uncertainty in Airport Strategic Planning
Name PhD candidate: Jan Kwakkel
Organization: Delft University of Technology
Supervisor: Prof.drs.
Email address:

Abstract of thesis: The treatment of uncertainty about demand, technological developments, etc. in the long-term planning of infrastructures in general, and of mainports such as airports and seaports in particular, is a key challenge for decisionmakers. Moreover, these uncertainties have increased over the last decades, due to changes in owner structure, changes in rules and regulations, and the ever increasing connectedness of the world. This dissertation explores how the treatment of uncertainty in airport planning can be improved. 

Currently, this treatment is limited to one or a few forecasts of future airport demand, occasionally combined with a limited set of scenarios for other developments. Such an approach limits the exploration of possible futures to those that are judged to be most likely. However, if the last decade has taught us anything, it is that the future will turn out to be substantially different from the one we are currently assuming most likely. The implication of this for decisionmaking is that any plan or policy optimized for one or a few forecasts is likely to perform poorly. An alternative approach that is capable of handling the multiplicity of futures and accepts the limits on predictability is needed. Such an approach should result in a plan that consists of time-urgent low regret options that can be taken immediately, together with a framework for guiding future actions based on monitoring developments and taking predefined actions when needed.

Thus, the decisionmaker is able to adapt the plan to the way in which the future unfolds. This dissertation presents such a dynamic adaptive planning approach, tailors the approach to the specifics of airport planning, and provides computational evidence for the efficacy of plans that are designed utilizing this approach. It is found that airports in general, and secondary hubs such as Schiphol in particular, can benefit greatly from having dynamic adaptive plans. Unnecessary investments can be avoided and environmental impacts can be reduced effectively by adapting over time to how the future unfolds. It is recommended that, in planning for the long-term future of airports, adaptivity be explicitly considered.

Gustavo Lipovich / The airports of Buenos Aires and their relationship with the metropolitan space.

Title: The airports of Buenos Aires and their relationship with the metropolitan space. The insertion of Aeroparque-Ezeiza airport subsystem into the airline market logic and into the urban structure.
Name PhD candidate: Gustavo A. Lipovich
Organization: Universidad de Buenos Aires
Supervisor: Pablo Ciccolella and Luis Yanes
Email address:
Expected date of completion: Finished and approved August 2010

Abstract of thesis:
The overall objective of the research is to distinguish the strategic factors that would influence in the intensification of differential positive economic impacts generated by airline and airport industry in the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. To achieve the objective, the research included an extensive critical analysis of the historical logic of airline market, the territorial consequences of airline liberalization and the airport-city economic relationship. Thus, the existence of an evolutionary cycle of airline networks generation -that lead to the coexistence of structures characterized by been increasingly primatial and simultaneously homogenous for non-prime nodes- was identified. The logic of deregulated airline market increasingly stimulates the selective localization of some of its elements that are qualitatively differential. They can be characterized as differential stimulating factors of urban economic development and their lack, conversely, can lead to airports to be regarded as parasites insertions that encourage the maintenance and expansion of existing inequalities in the global economy. After unmasking the geographical logic of deregulated airline market, the situation of the Buenos Aires airport system was analyzed in relation to airline networks and urban structure by emphasizing the study of the differential factors that stimulate economic development. As main results of this research, it could be highlighted the analysis of the differential factors, the hierarchy of them -to build a weighted airline metropolitan policy agenda-, and the presentation of specific projects following the aims to stimulate that Buenos Aires airports could be classified, in a future, as sources of genuine economic development and stop behaving like parasites insertions that accelerates and reproduces the unequal global economy.

Franziska Kupfer / Airport competition and airport choices of cargo airlines in Europe

Title: Airport competition and airport choices of cargo airlines in Europe
Name PhD candidate: Franziska Kupfer
Organization: University of Antwerp
Supervisor: Prof. Ann Verhetsel
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: September 2011

Abstract of thesis: Air transport research has already dedicated significant time to the analysis both of how passengers choose their airports as well as the airport choice of passenger airlines. On the other hand, much less research has been carried out with regards to cargo operators and their choice of airports. However, air cargo is currently no longer seen as a by-product of passenger transport. Some airports even specialize in air cargo. That is why there is also a need to understand the relationship between air cargo operators and airports. This need will be addressed in the PhD which will allow for better comprehension of how air cargo carriers choose their airports and ultimately how airports can form their strategies to attract air cargo carriers.

Evy Onghena / Expansion and co-operation strategies of integrators: an economic analysis

Title: Expansion and co-operation strategies of integrators: an economic analysis
Name PhD candidate: Evy Onghena
Organization: University of Antwerp
Supervisor: Prof. dr. Eddy Van de Voorde
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: 2013

Abstract of thesis:
In my PhD, the integrator market is examined from a transport economic perspective and an industrial economic perspective. The cost structure of integrators is studied and a simulation model is developed. This model has to provide an insight into the strategic behaviour of integrators.

Christiaan Behrens / Airline network competition

Title: Airline network competition
Name PhD candidate: Christiaan Behrens
Organization: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Supervisor: Prof. dr. Erik Verhoef, Dr. Eric Pels, Dr. Mark Lijesen
Email address: cbehrens(at)

Abstract of thesis: In recent years, low-cost carriers have been by far the most profitable carriers. This raises the question whether conventional airlines can successfully compete with low-cost airlines. The increasing importance of high-speed rail, and the announced deregulation of the transatlantic aviation market pose new threats to conventional airlines. But high-speed rail also offers opportunities, because high-speed rail can “feed” the intercontinental network of conventional airlines. In this research program we develop an empirically calibrated network competition model with heterogeneous supply and demand. The model can be used to analyze market equilibria in multimodal networks, and to evaluate transport policies in this context.

Benjamin Koch / Entwicklungsplanung für Flughafengesellschaften – Entscheidungsunterstützung durch die integrierte Marktprognose- und Finanzmodellierung

Title: Entwicklungsplanung für Flughafengesellschaften – Entscheidungsunterstützung durch die integrierte Marktprognose- und Finanzmodellierung
Name PhD candidate: Benjamin Koch
Organization: University of Cologne
Supervisor: Prof. Werner Delfmann
Email address: Benjamin.koch(at)
Date of completion: January 2006

Abstract of thesis: Flughäfen sind eine der unverzichtbaren, tragenden Säulen des weltweiten Luftverkehrs. Als solche sehen sie sich zunehmend einer Vielzahl veränderter Rahmenbedingungen gegenüber, auf die sie durch eine umfassende Umstellung der Unternehmensführung reagieren müssen. So stehen neben der Bereitstellung von Infrastruktur verstärkt betriebswirtschaftliche Fragestellungen im Fokus strategischer Entscheidungen. Demzufolge sind Fragen der Marktentwicklung, der technischen Notwendigkeiten sowie der finanzwirtschaftlichen Machbarkeit im Kontext jedweden Entwicklungsvorhabens zu erörtern.

Die Dissertation von Benjamin Koch greift diese Situation auf und verfolgt dabei insbesondere zwei Ziele. Zum einen werden Flughäfen als Unternehmen und im Hinblick auf ihre spezifischen Eigenschaften diskutiert. Zum anderen wird ein Konzept zur Entscheidungsunterstützung von strategischen Entwicklungsvorhaben von Flughafengesellschaften entwickelt. Die Eignung des entwickelten Konzeptes wird anhand mehrerer Fallstudien belegt. Das Buch wendet sich an Praktiker im Bereich des Flughafenmanagements und der Flughafenentwicklung ebenso wie an Dozenten und Studierende der Wirtschaftswissenschaften mit den Schwerpunkten Unternehmensplanung und Verkehrswissenschaften.

Axel Budde / Development of a procedure for the quantification of indirect temporal connectivity at hub airports based on a pattern-recognition algorithm

Title: Development of a procedure for the quantification of indirect temporal connectivity at hub airports based on a pattern-recognition algorithm
Name PhD candidate: Axel Budde
Organization: University of Amsterdam
Supervisor: Prof. Jaap de Wit
Email address: axel.budde(at)
Expected date of completion: November 2012

Abstract of thesis:
The aim is to develop a novel method for the quantification of indirect temporal connectivity that overcomes some limitations of existing methodology. This aim shall be achieved by providing a numerical connectivity indicator on a continuous scale that accounts for weekly frequency of connections and allows for a sub-division by markets of interest on a city-pair, country and world region level as well as two-level combinations.

The procedure is based on an algorithm that tests the null hypothesis that two events are distributed independently (by chance) and have a constant probability per time unit. Individual arrivals and departures are conceptualised as events, with a week as the time unit. At a pre-set significance level, the time span within which an arrival is followed significantly more often by a departure than can be expected by chance is calculated. This time span is termed a critical interval. Whenever two events occur within a critical interval at least twice within the given timeframe, a pattern (high quality indirect connection) is found.

The ratio of patterns found (high quality indirect connections) per events (individual arrivals and departures) is used as the core measure of indirect temporal connectivity. This measure is termed the pattern/event rate.

Employing this pattern recognition algorithm, pattern/event rates and other connectivity parameters of schedules at a number of hub airports are calculated. In order to provide external validation of the methodology, historical intra-airport analyses are performed and inter-airport comparisons are made.

Ana Simecki / Contribution of airport network development strategies in South East Europe

Title: Contribution of airport network development strategies in South East Europe
Name PhD candidate: Ana Simecki
Organization: Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia
Supervisor: Prof. Sanja Steiner
Email address:
Expected date of completion: 2012

Abstract of thesis: The EU and the countries of South East European region signed an agreement to establish the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA). Implementation of ECAA agreement requires revision of national aviation regulation regimes, liberalisation of cross border traffic rights, airport capacity expansion and improvement in safety and security regimes. The geographical location of airports and the considerably small size of national markets implicate that domestic flights are limited in number, with the majority of traffic accoutring mainly across national borders. Airports are positioned close to national borders what gives an opportunity for serving parts of neighbouring countries, although most airports in the region operate on point to point network model with very small number of intraregional connections, competing for the same passengers.
Main focus of the research is development of airport network model scenario which would improve airport accessibility and connectivity in South East European region. Using multi criteria analysis potential hub airports in the region will be identified as well as their potential future role in European airport network. Research is based on seventeen South East European Core Network airports which were specified by The Memorandum of Understanding (South East Europe Transport Observatory, 2010).

Aaron Scholz / Modeling the network structures of cargo airlines

Title: Modeling the network structures of cargo airlines
Name PhD candidate: Aaron Scholz
Organization: Institute for Economic Policy Research (IWW) - Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Expected date of completion: End of 2011

Abstract of thesis: Independent from the business strategies of airlines, efficiency plays an increasing role in the aviation market under pressure. A key factor of influence is the network configuration of the airline. In a first step the thesis explores concentration measures to account for differences in network configurations between combined carriers (e.g. Lufthansa), their cargo brands (e.g. Lufthansa Cargo) and pure cargo operators (e.g. Cargolux). The spatial dimension is analyzed by means of concentration and centrality measures. These observations are used as starting point to model network structures of cargo carriers. Based on an artificially generated demand structure of real world cargo airlines, the model simulates the supply side with economies of scale. Different modules form the model, such as an aircraft size optimization module, an average cost function, a transport economies of scale module and a non-linear optimization algorithm. The results are compared with the real world data based on concentration and centrality measures. Scenario analysis is applied to forecast the impacts of changes in market conditions on the airline’s network structure.

Alda Metrass Mendes / Policy analysis for the development of effective peripheral air transportation

Title: Policy analysis for the development of effective peripheral air transportation
Name of PhD candidate: Alda Metrass Mendes
Organization: University of Porto (FEUP) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Supervisor: Prof. A. Costa (FEUP) and Prof. R. de Neufville (MIT)
Email address:
(Expected) date of completion: January 2012

Abstract of thesis: The last decades have witnessed a global trend toward airline deregulation, with significant impacts on national provisions for air service to smaller communities. One of the consequences of liberalization is that the carriers are no longer constrained to serve routes, and may thus neglect service to less profitable destinations with lower density traffic. Deregulation can therefore have detrimental effects on small remote centers.
Though many governments agree on the obligation of continuing service to these communities, there is no common accord on how national air transportation policies should be designed to support this objective. Some nations have opted for full deregulation and have sustained the service through subsidies paid to carriers competing for contracts, others chose to maintain the status quo and yet others carry on lighter forms of regulation in hybrid forms. Different national contexts also mean that a solution appropriate for one country may not be the most successful for another.

The working hypothesis is that the analysis of multiple worldwide experiments with air service of small remoter communities will allow the identification of best practices. The main argument is that the policy design that works better in each case can be acknowledged, and thus provide a good starting point for further policy formulation and recommendations.

The research for the world best practices in policy design is developed from the evaluation of mature experiences of the U.S.A., Canada and the Northern Territories, and Australia, and the assessment of progress toward deregulation in countries like Portugal, Spain, and Brazil, according to two criteria: effectiveness and efficiency. The study will make recommendations for the design of air transportation policies for countries where deregulation and the provision of small communities are under discussion, derived from the reference cases.

Mahmud A. Tekalli / Africa Aviation Safety: Can Civil Aviation Authorities Regulate Themselves?

Title: Africa Aviation Safety: Can Civil Aviation Authorities Regulate Themselves?
Name PhD candidate: Mahmud A. Tekalli
Organization: Cranfield University
Supervisor: Prof Graham Braithwaite
Email address:
Expected date of completion: October 2011

Abstract of thesis: The purpose of this research is to determine the factors that affect African Aviation Safety with focus on the ability or lack thereof of Civil Aviation Authorities of a selected group of Sub-Saharan countries to perform their safety oversight on their operators as mandated by ICAO Convention.

Civil Aviation Authorities in Africa are facing tough challenges. These are represented by their inability to conduct complete safety oversight of air operators in their countries, and the need to have a viable air transport industry for their economic developments, trade, tourism and humanitarian assistance.

Wouter de Wulf / Management strategies of air cargo carriers operating worldwide

Title: Management strategies of air cargo carriers operating worldwide
Name PhD candidate: Wouter Dewulf
Organization: University of Antwerp
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. E. Van de Voorde
Doctoral Committee Dr. T. Vanelslander, Prof. Dr. A. Verhetsel, Prof. Dr. R. Macario
Email address:
Expected date of completion: September 2011

Abstract of thesis: The aim of this research project is to profoundly analyze the management strategies of air cargo carriers operating worldwide. Key factors influencing management strategies are being identified, assessed and ranked. Furthermore strategic behaviour of air cargo carriers towards integrators is being investigated. A final chapter will be dedicated on a scenario analysis or quantitative model demonstrating the importance and sensitivity of the key factors in management strategies.

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