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Air Service Quality in the U.S. Has Fallen by an Average of 7% since 2007


Since 2007, there have been seismic shifts in the airline industry in the United States. But what has happened to air service? Are specific communities better off or worse off? We believe every community has an interest in having better connectivity to major commercial cities in the US and overseas where much of the world’s GDP is either produced or managed. This includes capitals and major financial and industrial centers.  Using the metric we developed to measure a US community’s quality of air service to places that matter, we found that there is a very tight relationship between each US community’s quality of air service and the size of its economy. It is generally true that a US city with higher GDP also has better quality air service. But some cities do much better than expected while others do much worse. Here are the results of the GRA Air Service Index (GRASi) for selected cities in 2014.

Blog 2, Exhibit-1

Of course New York and Los Angeles have the best air service by our metric; they also have the highest GDPs among US cities. But Chicago is substantially above the trend line, and so are other cities with major hubs– Miami, Atlanta and San Francisco. Surprisingly, some cities with major hubs are far below the trend line – Houston and Washington. The reasons for these outcomes are all unique, and have implications for each city’s future and its air service development strategies.

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