Air Traffic

The current trends in air traffic are well known [9|. Growth has been positive for most of the past twenty-five years. International travel is growing faster than developed countries’ domestic trav­el. leisure travel is growing faster than business travel, and Asia-Pacific traffic has the largest regional growth rate. Air travel has become a commodity in the following sense: 404 of the trav­el is discount coach travel; the remaining 60** of the travel is comprised of 204 coach. ЗОЧ business class and 104 first class. One would be wrong to conclude, however, that full-fare pas­sengers comprise 604 of travel; пилі of this travel is also discounted. Because of frequent flyer upgrades and business and other traveller discounts, less than 304 of the passengers on interna­tional routes pay "full" fare. In 1995. 954 of the revenue passenger miles in the U. S.were sold at a discount. In the first seven months of 1996. the discount averaged 684.

Two airline systems have now developed. One is the airline system that dominates most markets and provides air service to both the economy and business passengers, subsidiz –

mg economy travel by higher fares for the business traveller. The other provides a true commod­ity service: no advanced scat assignments, no meals, and sometimes no baggage connection to other airlines. The latter airlines have enlarged the market for commodity travel For any new aircraft to succeed in the commercial aircraft market, it must compete either in convenience / comfort, or in fare, or some combination of the two.

In 1968 nearly eight million international passengers arrived at or departed from Kennedy International Airport, with 97 thousand arrival» and departures In 1982 over eleven million passengers arrived at or departed from Kennedy. Because of the introduction of wtde – body aircraft, this travel was accommodated with under 55 thousand arrivals and departures In 1993 fifteen million international passengers used Kennedy, requiring 92 thousand arrivals and departures. Once again aircraft arrivals and departures there arc close to the airport’s capacity.

Expected growth in air traffic cannot he accommodated for long with the world’s cur­rent airports and aircraft. In developed countries there are few airports dial can be added Thus, it is presumed that some of the increased traffic will be accommodated by larger aircraft. One SST configuration, a w ing with passengers inside, flying obliquely, must be large and responds to both the SST and the large aircraft market. This Oblique Flying Wing is discussed in two chapters in this book.

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