Biography for William Swan

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Biography for William SwanChief Economist, Seabury-Airline Planning Group. AGIFORS Senior Fellow. ATRG Senior Fellow. Retired Chief Economist for Boeing Commercial…
Biography for William SwanChief Economist, Seabury-Airline Planning Group. AGIFORS Senior Fellow. ATRG Senior Fellow. Retired Chief Economist for Boeing Commercial Aircraft 1996-2005 Previous to Boeing, worked at American Airlines in Operations Research and Strategic Planning and United Airlines in Research and Development. Areas of work included Yield Management, Fleet Planning, Aircraft Routing, and Crew Scheduling. Also worked for Hull Trading, a major market maker in stock index options, and on the staff at MIT’s Flight Transportation Lab. Education: Master’s, Engineer’s Degree, and Ph. D. at MIT. Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering at Princeton. Likes dogs and dark beer. (
  • Scott Adams
  • d. Networks Develop from Skeletal to ConnectedHigh growth does not persist at initial gateway hubs
  • Early developments build loads to use larger airplanes:
  • Larger airplanes at this state means middle-sized
  • Result is a thin network – few links
  • A focus on a few major hubs or gateways
  • In Operations Research terms, a “minimum spanning tree”
  • Later developments bypass initial hubs:
  • Bypass saves the costs of connections
  • Bypass establishes secondary hubs
  • New competing carriers bypass hubs dominated by incumbents
  • Large markets peak early, then fade in importance
  • Third stage may be non-hubbed low-cost carriers:
  • The largest flows can sustain service without connecting feed
  • High frequencies create good connections without hub plan
  • Consolidation Theory:A Story that Sounds Good
  • Large markets will need larger airplanes
  • Industry consolidation increases this trend
  • Alliances increase this trend
  • This trend is happening
  • Fragmentation Theory
  • Large markets peak early
  • Bypass flying bleeds traffic off early markets
  • Some connecting travelers get nonstops
  • Others get competitive connections
  • Secondary airports divert local traffic
  • New airlines attack large traffic flows
  • Frequency competition continues
  • Route Development Data:Measures What Really Happens
  • Compare top 100 markets from Aug 1993
  • Top 100 by seat departures
  • Growth to Aug 2003
  • Data from published jet schedules
  • Largest Routes are Not Growingas bypass flying diverts trafficLarge Long Routes are Not Growingas bypass flying diverts trafficVery Largest Long Routes are Not Growingas bypass flying diverts trafficJFK Gateway Hub Stagnant for 30 YearsJFK Gateway Hub Airplane Size Is DecliningCongestion Has Not Slowed Route DevelopmentsCongestion is not driving seats per departure upSeat Counts at Top 5 Airports Show Little CongestionCongestion: Solutions From HistoryCongestion has been a cost, not a constraint
  • Solutions favored by airports:
  • Redefining measurement of capacity movements
  • Technical improvements to raise capacity
  • Added runways
  • Building replacement airport
  • Solutions provided by the airline market:
  • Using un-congested times of day
  • By-passing congested gateways with new nonstop markets
  • Building frequencies and connections at secondary hubs
  • Using secondary airports at congested cities
  • Solutions beginning to be used:
  • Reducing smaller, propeller aircraft movements
  • Moving small, short-haul jet movements to larger aircraft
  • Congestion Affects Short & Small FlightsChicago Airplane Sizes Do Not Show CongestionCongestion is Not Driving 747 Shares UPWilliam Swan:Data TrollStory TellerEconomist
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