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The evolution of the European aviation network, 1990–1998
The deregulation of US aviation has led to drastic changes in route structures and to widespread adoption of the hub-and-spoke system.
This paper investigates whether deregulation in the European Union has led to a similar pattern.
The study uses time schedule data for all airports in the European Union during the period 1990–1998 and analyses both intra-European and intercontinental scheduled services.
At the airport level, we find no evidence for the concentration of intra-European traffic on a small number of hubs. Air traffic to intercontinental destinations, however, is increasingly concentrated on hub airports.
At the route level, a type of hub-and-spoke structure has developed. Here, the national carriers remain the dominant players. The market share of low-cost carriers has increased but is still very small.
This paper concludes that a number of imperfections on the supply side of the market constrain the effect of European deregulation on competition.
source: sciencedirect.com / science/article/abs/pii/S0969699701000242
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