article | 25-Aug-22

Future of Air Hubs: Staying Relevant in a Changing World

Alton Team: Alan Lim,  Mabel Kwan,  Raffi Kasparian

Market: Airports,  Airlines

Air hubs have traditionally been a key component of regional and intercontinental air travel due to the success of hub-and-spoke airline models. Such models aim to consolidate demand, maximize flight offerings, and thus more seamlessly connect city pairs between which direct flights may not be technically or commercially viable. Connecting traffic was particularly devastated by COVID-19 as border restrictions greatly reduced international travel demand, and COVID-19 protocols drove more point-to-point travel and precluded air hubs from serving foreign connecting traffic. Most airlines drastically reduced service levels globally, thereby reducing the number of possible itineraries to the average traveler. This paper discusses the importance of air hubs in the past and its continued relevance in the future.