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Volume

17

Issue

2

Publisher

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Abstract

The disparity between the relative success of low-cost and network carriers since 2001 has often been attributed to the difference in route system architecture. This paper compares the economic and operational characteristics of point-to-point and hub-and-spoke route systems. It also argues that the emphasis placed on route structure obscures other differences in business models. Although U.S. low-cost-carriers are frequently characterized as operating point-to-point systems, few actually do so. As network airlines simplify their domestic products and the low-cost-carriers diversify theirs, the distinction between the two is rapidly fading.

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