CFAC White Papers

COVID-19 und das Schweizer Luftfahrtsystem

Authors: Claudio Noto, Erik Linden, Adrian Müller, Andreas Wittmer, René Puls

Das vorliegende Papier greift Fragen auf, die in der gegenwärtigen Diskussion um die Unterstützung des SchweizerLuftverkehrssystems und dessen Fluggesellschaften auftauchen. Es besteht weder Anspruch auf Deutungshoheit nochauf Vollständigkeit, sondern soll vielmehr als wissenschaftliche Ausgangslage für eine fundierte Diskussion dienen. DieAutoren sehen es als essenziell an, die Luftfahrt als wirtschaftliches System zu betrachten, wenn zentrale Fragenbeantwortet werden sollen. Daher bieten die Autoren auch Handlungsempfehlungen für Entscheidungsträger ausPolitik, Gesellschaft und dem Luftfahrtsystem selbst, um eine kurz-, mittel- und langfristige Entwicklung des SchweizerLuftfahrtsystems mit Fokus auf Innovation, Wissenschaftlichkeit und Unabhängigkeit zu fördern.

Link: CFAC Working Paper COVID-19

Airport slots, secondary trading, and congestion pricing at an airport with a dominant network airline


This study investigates the efficiency of airport capacity allocation at a stylized, partly congested airport with a dominant hub carrier and a local airline that both enjoy market power. While the local airline provides direct travel utility only, the hub carrier provides additional, indirect travel utility from network density benefits. As the density benefits increase along with market concentration, they formally capture the dilemma of hub con- centration. In equilibrium, the hub carrier is dominant but its network remains inefficiently small. Thus, the three common allocation instruments yield ambiguous welfare results: Airport slots only restore efficiency when a use obligation enforces slot utilization, secondary slot trading leads to market preemption by the hub carrier while the network undersize persists, and congestion pricing increases the known welfare caveat from market power; removing the network undersize requires a subsidy with a service obligation. In contrast with previous studies, which mostly consider flights as homogenous goods and airlines as symmetric, the results at hand illustrate that vertical product differentiation based on network density benefits may increase the allocation inefficiencies that arise from imperfect competition. This insight may be crucial for airport capacity allocation at a concentrated network hub with a dominant carrier.

Link: Airport Slots Paper

Swiss International and Regional Airports - an Efficiency Benchmarking

We benchmark the three international and two of the four main regional Swiss Airports against a representative set of 112 European airports based on a stochastic frontier analysis with an input- oriented, multi-output distance function that we estimate based on a Cobb-Douglas production function. For the regional airports, we apply depreciation as a capital proxy whereas, for the international airports, we provide one estimation with runway length and one with depreciation. Outputs are measured by air traffic movements, passenger and cargo volumes, and non-aeronautical revenues; in addition, our setting includes minority/majority privatization and slot constraints as institutional variables. For the international airports, we fail to estimate a significant production function with all three outputs simultaneously; however, in one model, we find that efficiency is higher with privatization and with slot constraints, which is in-line with the literature. For the regional airports, the non-aviation revenues and privatization are not available but the estimation returns significant coefficients for the production function and for slot constraints; nonetheless, the efficiency of regional airports that exploit non-aviation activities may be underestimated. These results illustrate that the efficiency measurement hinges on the availability of input and output data, the model specification, and the choice of a suitable capital proxy.

Authors: Noto, C. and Kansikas, C. (2019)


Autonomous Mobility - An Application of the Technology Acceptance Model

Background: The introduction of personal autonomous mobility options in the form of driverless cars (referred to as autonomous vehicles, AVs) and pilotless vertical take-off and landing aircraft in the form of drones or jets (AVTOLs) have the potential to revolutionize the way people travel. AVs and AVTOLs promise to provide major benefits to society such as increased mobility, better road safety, less congestion, improved productivity, reduced emissions, and cost savings. However, customer acceptance of such disruptive technologies is likely to be a key barrier to widespread adoption.

ObjectiveTo determine key factors likely to influence intention to use AVs and AVTOLs and to develop and test a novel technology acceptance model (TAM) focused on AVs.

Methodology: An up-to-date literature review was performed on customer attitudes to AVs and AVTOLs. For AVs a consolidated analysis was performed across studies to provide insights into key factors likely to influence customer acceptance. Based on insights from the consolidated literature analysis supplemented by expert interviews, and a review of established TAMs, an AV-focused personal autonomous mobility TAM (PAM-TAMAV) was developed. The influence of the PAM-TAMAV constructs on intention to use an AV was tested via on online survey of 215 respondents in Switzerland. Lastly, the applicability of the proposed PAM-TAMAV to AVTOLs was reviewed.

FindingsThe literature search identified 44 surveys on customer attitudes to AVs that fulfilled the pre-defined criteria for inclusion in the consolidated analysis. Only very limited data were identified relevant to customer attitudes to AVTOLs. The consolidated analysis for AVs covered 183’421 responses and provided a number of key insights, such as low awareness of AV technology, lack of trust, fear of AVs, and the need to be able to take control. Although respondents recognized many benefits in AVs, this did not translate into willingness to pay a premium for the technology. Safety concerns featured highly and included a range of issues beyond technology malfunction, such as hacking and data privacy, lack of standards, and legal and liability issues. The newly developed PAM-TAMAV included base factors (awareness and demographics), factors with direct influence on behavioral intention (performance expectancy, effort expectancy, benefit-to-price ratio, and attitude to driving) and factors that influence intention through trust (social influence, perceived safety, facilitating conditions, experience of autonomy, and image of manufacturer). Based on descriptive and statistical hypotheses testing of the thesis survey data, the constructs in the proposed PAM-TAMAV were found to be appropriate determinants of behavioral intention to use an AV. A review of the applicability of the PAM-TAMAV to AVTOLs suggest it also covers relevant influencers for acceptance of AVTOLs.

Contribution: This thesis provides the most extensive literature review of surveys on customer attitudes to AVs to date and provides the first consolidated analysis of data across studies. Currently no TAM specific to AVs has been developed and this thesis provides the first proposed and tested TAM for AVs, which may be used as a conceptual model for research of customer acceptance in the future. The research in this thesis provides the basis for further research on customer acceptance of AVTOLs. Once a body of evidence has been collected on customer attitudes to AVTOLs, this could be used to develop a unified personal autonomous mobility TAM applicable to both AVs and AVTOLs.

Authors: Jenkins, S. Linden, E., Wittmer, A. (2018)


Managerial cognitive capabilities and their relation to the firm’s strategy

In times of ever faster-changing business environments, the adaptation of the corporate strategy is a crucial success factor for companies. To successfully steer a company through strategic change, the organization as well as the management team need specific capabilities. These capabilities are referred to as dynamic capabilities in strategic management literature.

Dynamic capabilities can be researched on different levels. While past research mainly focused on organizational level capabilities and started to move to dynamic managerial capabilities, the cognitive underpinnings were largely neglected.

This master thesis builds on existing dynamic capabilities research and deepens in the area of managerial cognitive capabilities. Based on existing research, it develops an approach tomeasure organizational dynamic capabilities and managerial cognitive capabilities. The quantification of organizational dynamic capabilities and managerial cognitive capabilities makes them more concrete and tangible and provides the basis for the connection of the two.One key aim of this research project is the examination of the influence that managerial cognitive capabilities have on the firm-level dynamic capabilities. This relationship that can already be found in theory, is now analyzed in practical context.

The results of this master thesis prove that while companies have different strengths andweaknesses, most of them lack a clear focus in terms of dynamic capability positioning. As theory suggests, their top-level management teams are diverse with regard to cognitive capabilities, but the managerial cognitive potential is most often not fully exploited on corporate level. Strong managerial cognitive capabilities in one specific area are sometimes not reflected in the corporate-level dynamic capabilities. Clear guidelines for action aim at changing these circumstances in the future.

Authors: Semling, K., Linden, E.; Wittmer, A. (2018)


Board internationality and corporate performance – theory and evidence from the international passenger airline sector

This thesis examines the effect of foreign board membership on international passenger airline performance measured from a shareholder perspective (ROA). Using a global sample of firms involved in the international passenger aviation business (n=128), the application of linear regression methods indicates a significant positive relationship between board internationality and international passenger airline performance. Therefore, increasing the level of board internationality by appointing a foreign member to the board adds value to the airline in a way that it improves the respective airline’s (accounting) performance. Also,the study provides evidence for the presumption that the degree of an airline’s international business operations positively moderates the relationship between board internationality and performance. The higher an airline’s exposure to an international business environment is, the higher the positive impact of appointing a foreign member to the board on n(accounting) performance.

Authors: Kinzel, M., Linden, E.; Wittmer, A. (2018)