Air Transport and High Speed Rail: Assessment of Cooperation and Competition Strategies Under a Cost Benefit Approach



Air Transport and High Speed Rail: Assessment of Cooperation and Competition Strategies Under a Cost Benefit Approach

Authors

A Alonso, O Betancor, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, ES

Description

By using a Cost-Benefit approach, we will analyse the effects on social welfare of competition and cooperation strategies between air and rail transport modes for one case study, trying to infer more general conclusions for similar routes.

Abstract

In this paper we aim to analyse with a social welfare perspective under what circumstances the air and high speed railway modes should compete or cooperate. For this, we concentrate on a specific case study of Málaga, a Spanish city located on one of the most important tourist areas in Europe, and which has the fourth largest airport in Spain by number of passengers.
In 2009 this airport received more than 11.5 million passengers, representing a decline of 9.25% on a year basis. Approximately half of these passengers were tourists from Great Britain and Germany who spent their holidays on the south-east coast of Andalusia, although some national routes were important last year as well, as in the case of routes to/from Madrid and Barcelona, which registered around 800 000 and 600 000 passengers respectively.
In the last few years, low cost airlines have registered significant increases in traffic levels to this airport, becoming nowadays the principal carriers at Málaga airport. As a matter of fact, in 2009 easyJet, Ryanair and Air Berlin are the airlines which carried more passengers to or from Málaga.
Taking as a reference the EMMA survey, edited by AENA (the Spanish airport operator), we have identified the profile of the standard passenger in Málaga. As a summary, this is a foreign individual who travel to Málaga for holidays on economy class and checking in his luggage. This passenger also gets to the airport by car, coming from the province of Málaga, and waiting an average of 2 hours to board his departure flight.
Currently the airport is under an expansion programme that affects all the elements of its infrastructure. There are two main actions: the construction of a new runway of 2,750 metres length and 45 metres wide that will be located almost in parallel to the existing one, and a new terminal building that will be next to the old terminal.
Furthermore, some high speed railway lines that link this city to others in the country have been opened in the last few years, whilst others are under construction at the moment, being planned a high speed railway station below the new terminal at the airport. This fact will generate remarkable effects over the social welfare when all the railway lines will be opened, derived mainly from changes in generalised prices for users, environmental effects linked to noise and pollution variation and lower or higher operating costs for rail and air carriers. These effects will be either positive or negative for the society depending on the strategy adopted by air and railway companies.
Thus, by using a Cost-Benefit approach, we will analyse the effects on social welfare of competition and cooperation strategies between air and rail transport modes for this case study, focusing mainly on the routes of Málaga ? Madrid and Málaga ? south-east coast of Andalusia as they register a high density of traffic at the moment, and trying then to infer more general conclusions for similar routes.
We expect that the results will be highly dependent on traffic levels on the analysed routes. The previous literature on this subject is mainly descriptive, being thus the novelty of this work the implementation of a Cost-Benefit Analysis to a real case study.

Publisher

Association for European Transport