Published flight schedules represent airlines willingness to offer tickets for flights at in the future given information available at the publication date. Published flights can result in two types of losses for the airline: dollar losses when an operated flight fails to generate sufficient revenue to cover operating costs and reputation losses when a published flight is subsequently cancelled. Failure to offer a flight for which there is sufficient demand also represents a loss to the airline in the form of a foregone profit opportunity.
Airline schedules for a particular future period will change as the publication date approaches the future period. Surprises that affect expected future profits, such as the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, will change airlines' willingness to offer flights. Conversely, airlines will be more likely to publish flights at dates closer to scheduled departure because surprises are less likely over a shorter time horizon. In addition to offering new flights or canceling offered flights, airlines can also respond by making changes to the size of the plane flown. Schedule changes will also tend to lag the arrival of new information due to the time it takes to analyze and implement the new information.
|Scheduled Flights and Seats||16-Oct-01||13-Nov-01|
|Scheduled flights (millions)||1.64||1.61|
|Percent change from four weeks ago||-10.79||-1.88|
|Scheduled seats (millions)||157.33||154.17|
|Percent change from four weeks ago||-11.03||-2.01|
|Scheduled average plane size (seats/plane)||96.09||95.96|
|Percent change from four weeks ago||-0.28||-0.14|
NOTES: The data refers to flights within the U.S. operated by domestic air carriers.
SOURCE: Various issues obtained through subscription, the Official Airline Guide, Reed Elsevier, Inc.