Distance & Aircraft Size Dynamics in Concentrated Growth Market: The Case of Commercial Passenger Fleet

Jan Malawko, Dominika Tkaczyk, Sainarayan Ananthanarayan, Behzad Taghipour
ICAO Scientific Review: Analytics and Management Research  •  Volume 1  •  2019  •  pp. 069-114

The global air transport industry has experienced an exponential increase of passenger demand over the last few decades. Despite the occurrence of this increase, the size of aircraft has not seen significant change over time. This study aims to describe and explain this phenomenon by categorizing aircraft into different segments based on seating capacity.

Airline industry unveiled a serious number of practices to shape rich and personalized As the number of passengers and the volume of traffic increases, the aviation industry is expected to provide a larger capacity. Our research demonstrates that the choices relating to aircraft size and passenger capacity are mainly associated with the flown distance.

This study gives insight to three different perspectives based on the aircraft capacity from a technological, economical and an operational level. There are ten segments by which capacity, distance, load factor and routes are measured and discussed.

Most studies on aircraft size and capacity mainly focus on airlines or airport operation systems in the domestic or duopoly market. This study shows how aircraft routes and size are made by means of long-term level strategic decision as opposed to short-term operational decision.

The findings of this paper confirm that aircraft capacity is positively correlated with travel distance. As expected, market size and route distance have a positive effect on aircraft size and are considered as the main factors to assign aircraft of specific capacities and size to certain routes.

Based on the analysis carried out as a result of this study it is possible to determine the optimal parameters for the use of the modern fleet of passenger planes. It covers the fleet data of international and domestic scheduled airlines. The data consist of statistics on the number and types of aircraft operated, their capacity and their utilization associated to the global scale spectrum of airport pairs. That is why “No Country Left Behind” initiative is specifically supported with this project.

As the aviation market expands and demand for travel continues to grow, it is important to consider aircraft size and capacity in the planning process and when formulating the strategy of meeting future demand.

Air transport, aircraft size, distance, passenger fleet
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