Airline Business


Course Objective

The aviation sector is a popular topic in the media. Airport noise,
airport expansion, airport privatization, airline alliances, airline
bankruptcies, new aircraft design etc. etc. frequently are the topic of
heated debate. This course looks at recent developments in the airline
industry from a scientific perspective. By the end of this course, the
student can explain recent developments in the airline industry using
basic economic knowledge. The students will demonstrate this by
discussing relevant academic papers. Furthermore, the students formulate
a research question for a current issue in the sector. The students will
have to answer a research question formulated by other students in a
short report. Principles and knowledge can be applied to other
industries as well. During the final examination students can show they
can apply insights from the literature to answer theoretical questions
and questions relating to current policy.

Course Content

Why did you pay more (or less) for your ticket than the person sitting
next to you in the aircraft. Why do KLM and easyJet have different
network types? How does competition from Emirates influence KLM and
Schiphol? Why should we (or shouldn't we) open a secondary airport?
By the end of this course, the student can answer such
questions, and explain recent developments in the airline industry using
basic economic knowledge on pricing, cost structures, and network
design. Furthermore, the insights can be used to explain developments in
other transportation sectors as well. Airline pricing, airline cost and
network design are three important aspects that will be discussed
throughout the course. The lectures specifically deal with the following

- Airline markets
- Airline pricing
- Airline output and market structure
- Airline cost
- Network design
- Network competition
- Network management
- Revenue management
- Aviation policy

Teaching Methods

- lectures
- tutorials. The topics for the tutorials are based on current policy
problems, and discussed with stakeholders (e.g. Schiphol), and we invite
stakeholders to participate in the tutorials. Students need to review
literature and prepare presentations on the topic. In a boardroom like
meeting, students discuss their findings with other students to come to
a final decision.

Method of Assessment

Paper, presentation, written examination

Entry Requirements

The course 'Transport Economics and Management' is highly recommended.
Students that did not follow this course, or any other course on
transport economics, have to contact the
coordinators in advance.


A selection of articles will be announced in the study guide; lecture

General Information

Course Code E_BA_AIRB
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty School of Business and Economics
Course Coordinator dr. A.J.H. Pels
Examiner dr. A.J.H. Pels
Teaching Staff dr. A.J.H. Pels
dr. M.G. Lijesen

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: