Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Measuring the Airlines

Yesterday's Financial Times had an illuminating story on the way airlines, particularly low-cost carrier Ryanair, plays with its traffic numbers to support such boasting slogans as "[t]he world's favourite airline."  See Kevin Done, Airline Publicity Dogfight Hides the Real Numbers, Fin. Times (July 7, 2009) (available here).  In the end, despite the time-honored tradition of European airlines using their inflated carriage of international traffic on the Continent to bolster their global standing, U.S. carriers Delta (which now includes Northwest) and American Airlines still lead on the basis of total passenger traffic as measured by RPKs.

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