Limits to Air Transport Growth: the Demand Factors



Limits to Air Transport Growth: the Demand Factors

Authors

GRAHAM A C, University of Westminster, UK

Description

Over the last four decades the air transport industry has' experienced phenomenal growth, but there are now signs of limits to this growth in certain markets as maturity sets in. However, there is no consensus of opinion as to how such slowing down of gro

Abstract

Over the last four decades the air transport industry has' experienced phenomenal growth, but there are now signs of limits to this growth in certain markets as maturity sets in. However, there is no consensus of opinion as to how such slowing down of growth can be fully explained or predicted. This paper aims to explore such issues by concentrating on the leisure market and using the UK as a case study.

Limits to air transport growth may occur for two key reasons. Firstly they will depend on demand factors such as the consumer's ability and willingness to travel. This leads on to the concepts of determinants and motivations. Determinants are factors which make it possible for people to travel. These can be related to economic and social oonditious (such as income, leisure time) and conditions set by the providers of tourist services (eg price, quantity ere). Motivations are factors which make the consumer willing to travel and these will be related to personality traits and attitudes and may be influenced by the promotional activities of the providers.

Secondly, air transport growth may be comtrained because of supply factors within the air transport industry (eg lack of runway slots, iusuffi6ient terminal capacity, airspace congestion). For leisure travel, supply constraints within the tourism industry (eg lack of hotels beds) may also dampen the overall demand. This is because the demand for air transport is a derived demand, depending ultimately on the demand for the overall tourism product. In addition to these physical limits there may be perceptual constraints as well. This is when travellers may decide that an airport is too congested to be used or that a tourism resort is too crowded. Thus both physical and percepLa~tl constraints can have the effect of curtailing growth, with the former making it not possible to travel, and with the latter diminishing the desire to travel. In many cases the impact of the demand factors, such as determinants, can be clearly distinguished from effects due to lack of physical capacity. However, there are other more 'grey' areas when a perceptual constraint may influence the motivations of a traveller.

The focus, here, is on. leisure travel since the notions of determinants and motivations are not so easily applied to non-personal business travel and in addition the impact of technological communication improvements would also need to be considered.

Publisher

Association for European Transport