GEOGRAPHIC CORRELATES OF LOWEST AVAILABLE AIRFARES ON AUSTRALIAN AIR ROUTES

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Kurt Fuellhart

Keywords

Australia, airfares, Skyscanner, confirmatory linear analysis, urban networks

Abstract

Deregulation of the airline industry in Australia has produced lower airfares. However this perspective rarely incorporates spatial insights and usually utilizes archival data. The purpose of this paper is to conduct a first-stage confirmatory analysis of up-to-date airfares charged on 24 major routes within Australia using Skyscanner, a web-based and consumer-oriented tool to access airfares. This tool displays fares during an on-line booking process prior to purchase, just as consumers would experience it. We apply Skyscanner to extract one set of current fares -- lowest fare data -- on the routes and then use linear modelling to establish variables that can be utilized to predict these lowest fare prices. While far from a full accounting of the cost of Australian air services, this test of Skyscanner as a data source, along with the successful confirmatory linear analysis, shows that the underlying configuration of the nation’s urban population, distance, direct connections, and characteristics of links and networks of low cost carriers are powerful influences upon prices charged. We suggest that Skyscanner and similar data sources may provide researchers with alternative low cost data that may shed insight into many air transport pricing questions.

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