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Hub connectivity, airline timetable synchronization, connection building, hub wave system
This paper evaluates the net impact of timetable synchronization on the connectivity of the key European carriers at their main hubs. We measure hub connectivity using a weighted connectivity score (WCS) that takes into account the number and the trip time related quality of flight connections. Based on WCS, we compare hub performance resulting from the existing schedule against a random expectati on calculated from multiple randomized schedule simulations. In each simulated schedule scenario we randomly vary the flight departure and arrival times within the operation hours at a hub and at outbound stations keeping all other flight parameters from the real schedule unchanged.
We observe that the timetable synchronization leverages hub connectivity of most analyzed airlines by 40% to 60%. The highest increase of connectivity is achieved by medium-sized carriers that operate peaky wave systems with flights concentrated in many short and non-overlapping banks, as well as by carriers that organize their flights in directional waves. The lowest increase is achieved by airlines that operate at highly congested airports. At most hubs, connections to long-haul flights operated with wide-body aircraft are better synchronized than connections between short-haul flights.