The growth in international travel will continue to rise as the globalisation of business and growing migration fuel the need to travel abroad, and rising consumer affluence coupled with a reduction in the cost of travel brings it into the reach of more people. The theme of the 11th Aviation Management Conference, The New Traveller, will relate the change of business models of Low Cost Carriers, the rise of ground transportation, and the evolution of information technologies, to the importance for airports’ and passengers’ behaviour.

The students’ research is divided into four topics.


Potential Cooperation Between Low-Cost and Full-Service Carriers

Within this research, the focus is on the future of LCCs within Europe. Two approaches are chosen for further investigation.
The first one researches the possibilities for LCCs and FSCs to cooperate. Is it feasible to let LCCs feed the hub airports with passengers and use the FSCs to transport these passengers on the medium and long-haul flights? Where are the opportunities for LCCs and FSCs?
The second subject of research investigates the feasibility of long-haul low-cost operations. In China, this model is already operational within the Asian continent. Looking at the business model of LCCs and the way these are operational on the longer flights will be an interesting topic.

This research is performed by:
Robin Klaver
Ruben Kok
Hares Wardak


Influence of Airline Business Models on Airport Infrastructure

The development of airport infrastructure is highly influenced by the specific needs of all airports users. As a result, many infrastructural requirements are dependent on airlines and their passengers. Primary airports are largely dominated by operations of legacy or network carriers and therefore have been designed according to their needs. However, in recent years low-cost carriers have significantly strengthened their market position in Europe and are now aiming for an increased presence at primary airports. Consequently, primary airports are now facing new challenges with regard to their infrastructural development and corporate strategies as they now have to deal with the needs of both network carriers and low-cost carriers. This can result in a challenging transition period for airports that are not well prepared for the future and lack the flexibility to serve the needs of all airlines.

Richard De Neufville denotes the contradiction between existing facilities at primary airports compared to their future needs:

 “The lead of business models of [main airports’] erstwhile powerful clients, that is the legacy carriers, the main airports have built excellent attractive facilities that can provide high levels of service. While these facilities made sense financially for airlines charging high fares, they do not make the same sense for low-cost carriers striving to minimize costs.”

Richard De Neufville – Professor of Engineering Systems and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

This research is performed by:
Maxim Roelen
Jeffrey Schäfer
Jelle Turkenburg
Najib Walli


Ground Transportation in the Intra-European Market

In recent decades, the high-speed rail (HSR) has expanded substantially in Europe and Asia, providing an attractive alternative to air transportation, especially for the short-haul intercity travel. This serious competitor is challenging the airlines to a substantial extent on which limited analysis has been completed. To understand this shift in short-haul transportation, it is essential to focus on the basic needs of the traveller in the 21st century.

Studies conclude that the journey time and travel experience of a traveller are of great importance when deciding on the method of transportation. Furthermore, the airline industry is struggling with environmental challenges and airport congestion, issues on which the HSR has significant less impact. Our analysis will be focused on countries where air traffic is most heavily concentrated, in which the HSR can provide an efficient alternative. The goal of our research will be to acknowledge the substantial growth of the HSR as being a serious competitor on the short-haul journey of ‘The New Traveller’.

In addition, a century old concept (dated 1914) known as the Vactrain (vacuum tube train), is gaining momentum in this HSR and air transportation competition. Recently, a company called Hyperloop Technologies, has developed the first prototype of the Vactrain, making this historical concept less and less fictional.

This research is performed by:
Thomas Berntsen
David Dwek
Floris van der Veer


Big Data in the Airport Environment

Big Data is a popular term used to describe the vast and ever-increasing amount of data available from a multitude of connected sources, including cellphones and sensors. The extreme magnitude and wealth of information of Big Data pose both a challenge and a unique opportunity to distill valuable intelligence that can be used as input for analyses. In turn, more accurate analyses lead to better-informed decision making, cost reductions and enhanced operational efficiencies.

Although Big Data is a trend that started a number of years ago, it is only now finding its way to the aviation industry. The applications within airports, airlines and MRO companies are legion; especially with regard to today’s passenger travel experience. Our research delves into this topical subject and investigates how Big Data can be applied in an airport environment and the implications it has for operators and passengers. Furthermore, possible issues and problems, such as privacy concerns, are taken into consideration as well.

This research is performed by:
Romee Aussems
Joyce Boonstra
Pim van Vliet
Jeroen de Wit