Impact of videoconferencing on the demand for air travel
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory
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Videoconferencing is widely seen as the form of modern telecommunications having the largest potential to impact the growth of business air travel demand. Most existing studies focus on the substitutional effect of enhanced telecommunications on air travel and suggest different substitution estimates that diminish future business air travel growth rates. However, this research reveals that reasonable and convincing theoretical arguments exist supporting the complementary interaction of modern telecommunications and business travel. A critical assessment of previous studies in this field shows that most research lacks sound empirical evidence. Besides this major deficiency, the thesis also recognizes other areas in need of future research efforts and identifies the potential for the airline industry to minimize the adverse impacts of modern telecommunications on its business and to benefit from the capability of these technologies to complement air travel. In this study, the discussion and analysis of empirical data and observations are focused on the U.S. domestic and U.S. international market. Nevertheless, research findings regarding potential interactions between videoconferencing and business air travel, main implications of these relationships for the aviation industry, potential responses by airlines, and future research opportunities are applicable on a global basis. A key component of the thesis is an industry-wide field survey carried out primarily among companies of the "Fortune 500" industry group on the characteristics of videoconferencing use and the actual and expected impact on corporate travel needs. From assessments made by videoconferencing managers and individual users of videoconferencing in these companies, it was possible to identify (1) characteristic videoconferencing adoption patterns, (2) main user groups and business purposes, (3) the role of travel substitution in the investment justification, (4) actual and projected impacts on business air travel patterns, and (5) perceived benefits and limitations of videoconferencing for business applications in economical, technical, social and communicational terms. Together with previous research findings, the results of this survey are used to construct a coherent picture of the present state of research in this field, considering all potential and observed interactions between both modes.
February, 1995Also issued as an M.S. thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1995Includes bibliographical references (p. 260-266)
Cambridge, MA : Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Flight Transportation Laboratory, 1995
FTL report (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory) ; R95-1
Air travel, Business travel, Videoconferencing, Aeronautics, Commercial, Demand (Economic theory), Passenger traffic