7Feasibility of a New Route

Several factors promote the airlines’ schedule updates. For example, in order to respond to demand seasonal fluctuations, airlines typically publish a different flight schedule for every month or quarter of the year (Lohatepanont and Barnhart 2004; Abdelghany et al. 2017). In addition, airlines continuously keep eye on changes in strategies or actions taken by their competitors. A competitor airline might add or reduce capacity in one or more city‐pairs, which might require the airline to respond and update its schedule. Moreover, airlines might update their schedule to respond to changes in the schedule of its alliance and/or code‐share partners. Furthermore, airlines might update their schedule to meet long‐term strategies related to service expansion or contraction in a market. Finally, airlines might also update their schedule to respond to changes in available resources such as number of aircraft and airport slots.

A newly published schedule could include flights or routes operated previously by the airline and new routes that are to be flown for the first time. For these new routes, airlines usually perform preliminary studies to investigate the feasibility of these new routes and estimate their potential profitability. The main objective is to understand how this route could sustain competition and how it fits in the airline network (i.e. relationship with other flights). This chapter presents an example that illustrates how airlines perform ...

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