Analysis of aircraft fleets of U.S. major airlines since deregulation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory
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The purpose of this thesis is to relate the U.S. Major airlines changing use of aircraft to aviation policy and technology since deregulation of the U.S. airline industry enacted in 1978. First, a study of the airline fleet mix was carried out in order to understand how airlines have composed their fleets in the past and how they are preparing for the future. Airlines have responded very favorably to any changes in aircraft characteristics that have the potential to lower operational costs, such as the introduction of two-crew member cockpits and the acquisition of twin-engined aircraft whenever possible. Airline fleets are primarily made up of low capacity/short range aircraft, which is an indication of airlines concentrating in domestic markets where frequency of service is critical. The shift towards the usage of more fuel efficient and quieter aircraft engines is evident. How the airlines actually operated their aircraft fleets in both domestic and international markets was also examined. The analysis focused on relating aircraft characteristics with the aircraft operation data published by the United States Department of Transportation. It was found that these airlines have concentrated their operations mostly in the domestic arena, representing 84.6% of total aircraft miles flown at the beginning of deregulation in 1978 and only decreasing to 84.1 % by 1990. There has been an increase of 70% in the total number of miles flown. The cause for this growth can be attributed to numerous airline mergers, and the expansion to the international arena in search of new markets. In addition, airlines are flying their aircraft further. Traffic results indicate that aircraft may have been scheduled more cycles per day and that air traffic congestion has been increasing since deregulation.
Cover titleVitaIncludes bibliographical references
Cambridge : Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Flight Transportation Laboratory, c1992
FTL report (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Flight Transportation Laboratory) ; R92-2
Aeronautics, Commercial, Aircraft industry, Airlines, Jet transports, Airplanes, Market share, Aircraft industry, Airlines, Deregulation, Cost of operation, Deregulation, United States