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A study of air connectivity and door-to-door travel time in air transport

Massimiliano Cortese

A study of air connectivity and door-to-door travel time in air transport.

Rel. Francesco Paolo Deflorio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea specialistica in Ingegneria Civile, 2021


Different studies have demonstrated how improving air connectivity increases GDP. In this regard, to promote aviation and ensure its ongoing benefits to society and the market, the EU Commission has published a document, Flightpath2050, that draws aviation's future in Europe. One of the goals set by this document states: "90% of travellers within Europe are able to complete their journey door-to-door within 4 hours.". The first part of this paper analyses 341 airports across the EU and calculates the percentage of the population that can travel door-to-door within four hours, assuming that every possible origin-destination pair is connected with direct flights. The distance between airports is calculated in QGIS, while the corresponding flight time is estimated from a linear regression of the flight times of known routes. The population travelling from each airport is assumed to be the population of the NUTS (L3 or L2) in which the airport is located. A series of parameters and conditions are set for access, egress, processing and buffer times and to determine the appropriate NUTS Level population to associate with each connection. The calculation shows that only 12.7% of the total EU population met the four-hour goal. The analysis is then repeated by extending the door-to-door travel time to five hours. With the extra hour, the population meeting the goal is 40.6% of the total EU population. The study is extended to calculate the percentage of GDP (weighted on the whole EU GDP) associated with the population previously calculated. This calculation is carried out by attributing the National GDP per capita to the respective origin-destination pair. The results showed that 15.0% of the EU GDP is associated with the 12.7% of the EU population meeting the four-hour goal. This increases to 47.6% of EU GDP for the 40.6% of the population in the five-hour scenario. The second part of this paper aims to identify the factors that boost connectivity in hub airports by analysing and comparing the hub connectivity of four European hubs: Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Rome. The analysis is limited to connecting flights operated by members of the three main international airline alliances and satisfying a series of conditions. The results showed Frankfurt has the highest hub connectivity with 10,440 daily connecting flights and an average of 19.1 possible onward connections per inbound flight. London is second (6191; 11.5), then Paris (5126; 11.6) and Rome (1553; 5.9). The analysis showed that an increase in the number of alliance flights operated at the hub produces a more than proportional increase in connectivity. Further, it was found that where two hubs operate a similar number of flights, hub connectivity increases with the higher the market share of the dominating alliance. Due to the size of Europe, the four-hour goal can only affect a minority of the total EU population. A greater impact on connectivity could instead be made by changing the FlightPath2050 goal to "90% of the EU population can complete their journey door-to-gate and gate-to-door within three hours". This would prioritise the allocation of resources into projects dedicated to improving airport accessibility for the majority of the EU population, attaining further reduction in processing time and passing this on to travellers, and recognise the continued important contribution of indirect connectivity, particularly hub-and-spoke, to the overall level of connectivity.

Relators: Francesco Paolo Deflorio
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 78
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea specialistica in Ingegneria Civile
Classe di laurea: Old organization > Master > 28/S - CIVIL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/19444
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