Short-term airport congestion due to service peaks causes transitory peaks in demand for customer services and ground-handling processes. Efforts to maximize flight-specific revenues have been mitigated by the recognition of the excessive burden to the service processes caused by these busy periods. The costs of peak periods for one mid-size European airline at its main airport are examined. The case company can cut the costs of ground-handling processes by 30% by applying slightly different timetabling principles. In fact, by adjusting only a few flights during the morning rush hour the company could save up to a million euros annually. These results show the importance of estimating the total economic effects of service peaks also to the authorities and the providers of airport services. In future research, the revenue impacts of despoking should be considered in addition to total process costs.

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Journal of Air Transport Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Kemppainen, K., Nieminen, M., & Vepsäläinen, S. (2007). Estimating the costs of airport congestion due to fast connections. Journal of Air Transport Management, 13(4), 169–174. doi:10.1016/j.jairtraman.2007.02.002