Regional Differences in Airline Operating Economics

ICAO has been conducting annual studies on regional differences in international airline operating economics for several years. The current mandate to carry out those studies is included in Assembly Resolution A38-14, Appendix F (pdf). The studies provide a unique source of data which are used by international government and airline organizations as well as by individual States for such tasks as evaluation of fare levels, analyses of operating economics and, more generally, the impact of regulatory change. They also provide a source of information for environmental planning and assessment of the effectiveness of measures for the implementation of the Strategic Objectives of ICAO. Since 1989 their results have been used by the Prorate Agency to prorate passenger revenues from interline journeys
Scope of the Studies
The studies analyze all international routes aggregated into 17 route groups. The results of the studies include:
  1. passenger, freight and mail yield data for scheduled services on a route group basis;
  2. regional differences in the costs related to the scheduled service passenger yields on a route group basis; and
  3. major causes of regional differences in costs.
Sources of Information
A primary source of information for the studies are responses to two questionnaires which are dispatched by ICAO each year to all Contracting States to be filled out with respect to their international airlines. The questionnaire on revenues seeks information on scheduled and non-scheduled passenger, freight, mail and incidental revenues for each route group, together with corresponding volumes of traffic and capacity. The questionnaire on costs seeks information on costs for international scheduled passenger airlines. Another important source of information is a computer analysis carried out by ICAO of timetable material. Also, a wide range of supplementary information is used, in particular data on airline traffic, traffic by flight stage, fleet and personnel, and airline financial data regularly filed by Contracting States on Air Transport Reporting Forms and available on-line through a dedicated ICAO aviation statistics website.
Publication of the Results of the Studies

The results of the studies are published in ICAO circulars. A circular entitled Regional Differences in International Airline Operating Economics: 2012 and 2013 (Circular 348-AT/193) contains the results of the study covering the year 2012 and 2013 and compares the 2013 results with those of 2011, the latter published in the previous circular (Circular 339-AT/197).

Please click here to view the Table of Contents, Introduction and Summary of Major Findings (pdf) of Circular 348.
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