The competition between airlines and high-speed trains

May 24, 2017, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
The competition between airlines and high-speed trains
Credit: pixabay.com/Renfe.com

A team of researchers from two Spanish universities, UPM and URJC, in collaboration with MIT researchers, has developed a mathematical model that assesses the competition between both legacy and low-cost airlines, and high-speed trains. This new approach is able to estimate the modal distribution of passenger demand, optimize fleet assignment and generate flight schedule. This math tool provides valuable and useful information that will help airlines to efficiently face the competition of high-speed trains.

Airlines and high-speed trains are increasingly competing for passengers, especially in Europe and Asia. High-speed trains usually compete by providing similar or even greater service frequency and better connectivity to city centers. Besides, HST is often perceived as the safer and more comfortable mode, this situation generates a redistribution of passengers between aerial and railway alternatives.

Thus, a group of researchers, including the Professor Ángel Martín from School of Aeronautics and Space Engineering, gathered to study the impact of the uncertainty on regular aerial transport.

In this way, researchers have developed a accounting for the multimodal competition between aerial transport and and the aerial competition between legacy companies and low-cost companies. The study uses a nested logic model that captures the impacts of the decisions taken by aerial companies on passenger demand. At the core of this modeling approach is an integrated schedule optimization model that includes frequency planning, approximate timetable development, fleet assignment, and passenger demand choice.

The computational results were carried out on realistic problem instances of the Spanish airline IBERIA and show that the actual airline schedules are found to be reasonably close to the schedules generated by our approach.

Researchers also used this optimization modeling approach under multimodal competition to evaluate multiple scenarios involving entry of high speed rail into new markets, taking into account the possibility of demand stimulation as a result of the new services. This model was validated using data from markets that had an entry by high-speed rail in the past. The validation results show a close match between the predicted and the observed solutions. In addition this model can predict the impacts of future entry by on new markets.

Consequently, the proposed modeling framework is attractive from the perspective of the airline operators. It allows them to plan better for the impending HST entry by fine-tuning schedules, fleets, and fares. According to Ángel Martín, a researcher involved in this study, "The framework can facilitate careful evaluation of various scenarios (such as competitor actions, fleet changes, fare changes, etc.) allowing the airline to be better prepared to adapt to the changing competitive environment."

Explore further: Social media complaints can be alternative to market discipline, study shows

More information: Luis Cadarso et al. Integrated Airline Scheduling: Considering Competition Effects and the Entry of the High Speed Rail, Transportation Science (2017). DOI: 10.1287/trsc.2015.0617

Related Stories

India in talks to buy first bullet trains: report

October 3, 2012

India is in talks to buy its first bullet trains for the nation's creaking and accident-prone network, but the new fleet will run at only a fraction of its top speed, a report said on Wednesday.

HIGH-TOOL supports transport planning in Europe

March 3, 2017

Research of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) supports the European Commission in transport planning: With the help of the new HIGH-TOOL model, long-term impacts of transport policy measures on economy, society, and ...

3Q: Airline regulations should be grounded

May 3, 2011

In August, new airline regulations from the U.S. government will go into effect. They include refunding passengers checked bag fees if luggage is lost, increasing the compensation bumped passengers receive and imposing time ...

Recommended for you

In the gaping mouth of ancient crocodiles

June 18, 2018

The mouth of today's crocodilians inspires fear and awe, with their wide gape and the greatest known bite force in the vertebrate animal kingdom. However, this apex predator of today and its modus of attack (its mouth) had ...

Secrets of extinct cow with face like a bulldog revealed

June 15, 2018

An international team of scientists have used the latest genetic and anatomical techniques to study the remains of a cow with a short face like a bulldog that fascinated Charles Darwin when he first saw it in Argentina 180 ...

Ancient mammal ancestor found and identified in China

June 14, 2018

A team of researchers from China and the U.S. has identified a new ancient mammal ancestor recently found in a part of China. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes the creature, which they have ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.