Factors Influencing Passenger Choice in a Multiple Airport System

Factors Influencing Passenger Choice in a Multiple Airport System

Jing Yu Pan (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, USA) and Dothang Truong (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJASOT.2017010101
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The purpose of this article is to examine factors that influence passengers' decision in selecting an airport in a multiple airport system (MAS). This article focuses on a MAS in China consisting of two airports that directly compete with each other in serving domestic and international passengers in the same area. A survey was conducted in the Beijing area to collect the data, and a logistic regression was used to test the effects of these factors on the passenger choice. The results indicate that airfare is the most significant determinant of Beijing passengers' airport choice, followed by flight delay.
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As the demand for travel continues to grow substantially airports in large cities suffer from constrained capacity and limited potential for expansion. Multiple airport system (MAS) is a solution to ease the tension between the growing travel demand and limited airport capacity (Martín & Voltes-Dorta, 2011). While MAS has been studied extensively in North America and Europe, it has not received the same attention in Asia. MAS is a relatively new phenomenon to Asian air transportation market since air transport deregulation in many Asian countries has been a slow process.

MAS has attracted great attention from the academia. Existing studies have focused on issues such as airline network design in MAS, airport capacity expansion within MAS, and passengers’ airport preference in MAS (Windle & Dresner, 1995; Hess & Polak, 2005, 2006; Martín & Voltes-Dorta, 2011; Takebayashi, 2012). Nevertheless, many studies were mainly focused on MAS serving different areas, or multiple airports with different sizes and functions serving the same area (Hess & Polak, 2006; Loo, 2008; Civil Aviation Authority, 2011). In addition, a majority of these studies examined MAS in North America and Europe due to the market maturity in those regions. MAS in Asia-Pacific markets, in general, and in China, in particular, are not adequately studied. Most studies of MAS in Asia focused on two airports offering domestic and international travel services. However, since these airports are not direct competitors the results may not be useful for airport executives in improving the competitive advantage.

This paper aims at filling that gap by examining factors that influence passenger choice for an airport in Beijing area. In Beijing, the Beijing International Airport is the main airport that provides travel services to passengers. It is located in the eastern part of the city, about 30 kilometers from the city center (Beijing Capital International Airport, 2017). In 2015, the airport was the world’s second busiest airport by total passenger traffic, serving about 90 million passengers (Airports Council International, 2016). To meet the growing travel demand, the Beijing government recently decided to build a second airport in the city, which is set to be completed by 2019 (Zhao, 2016). The new airport will be located in the southern part of the city, 46 kilometers away from the city center and will be used as an international hub with the expected capacity of 72 million passengers a year by 2025 (Chen, Huang, Yan, & Zhang, 2012; National Development and Reform Commission, 2014). As the new airport will become an international airport serving domestic and international passengers, it will compete directly with Beijing International Airport. Accordingly, it is important for airports and airlines to understand how passengers choose one airport over another for travel purposes.

The relevant literature and research gaps will be discussed in the next section. Then, the research methodology and data collection process are described and explained, followed by result presentation and interpretation. Finally, result discussion and implications of the paper are provided.

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