Brueckner, Jan K. Czerny, Achim I. Gaggero, Alberto A.
Year of Publication:
CESifo Working Paper No. 7875
Center for Economic Studies and ifo Institute (CESifo), Munich
This paper presents an extensive theoretical and empirical analysis of the choice of schedule buffers by airlines. With airline delays a continuing problem around the world, such an under-taking is valuable, and its lessons extend to other passenger transportation sectors. One useful lesson from the theoretical analysis of a two-flight model is that the mitigation of delay prop-agation is done entirely by the ground buffer and the second flight’s buffer. The first flight’s buffer plays no role because the ground buffer is a perfect, while nondistorting, substitute. In addition, the apportionment of mitigation responsibility between the ground buffer and the flight buffer of flight 2 is shown to depend on the relationship between the costs of ground-and flight-buffer time. The empirical results show the connection between buffer magnitudes and a host of explanatory variables, including the variability of flight times, which simulations of the model identify as an important determining factor.