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Airlines follow different strategies of aircraft sourcing and financing. Basic decisions include the choice of buy versus lease and long term versus short term acquisition of aircraft. Additional fleet and fleet planning characteristics include the desired fleet size, average aircraft age, or possible surplus in capacity.
Do these variables have an impact on financial success? Taking the perspective of a shareholder, the author uses multivariate regression methodology to evaluate abnormal returns in stock market's reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the Financial Crisis 2008, and to aircraft accidents and aircraft orders 1994–2009. In further regression analyses the relationship of fleet variables to a company's revenue growth and profitability is examined.
Potential readerships include researchers and practitioners with interest in how decisions could be taken in favor of shareholders in an aircraft fleet planning context.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
The strategies according to which airlines and other air transport companies manage their aircraft portfolios are as multifarious as the number of firms in the industry. Some buy aircraft, others trust in leasing. Some order aircraft many years ahead and deal with options, others procure capacity ad hoc.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 2. Basics of aircraft sourcing and financing

Abstract
Basis for any analysis and optimization of aircraft portfolios and fleet plans is a profound understanding of the game. Which capacity options exist? Who are the players? The more expertise a company has with regard to market environment and behavior, the better it can prepare for future business. Therefore it is interesting to see how the different types of capacity are handled by the different players.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 3. Development of the air capacity market

Abstract
Market development is commonly defined by the interaction of demand and supply over time resulting in a price for the goods and services sold. Furthermore, industries are often linked to one major economic indicator. In the aviation industry, this economic indicator is the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). This chapter will firstly outline the correlation between air traffic and global GDP and secondly describe the development of air capacity in terms of aircraft deliveries and orders in the normal business cycle as well as pre and post external economic shock events.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 4. Financial performance of airlines and airline holdings

Abstract
The previous chapters described basic aircraft sourcing and financing options that air passenger and freight transport companies can choose of, how the different players in the market have so far planned and acquired capacity, and that control over the asset aircraft seems to play an increasingly critical role. The illustration of operating and net results of ICAO scheduled airlines (cf. Figure 4) and of growth of air traffic in line with global GDP (cf. Figure 13) gave a first glance on the business performance of the air transport industry. The financial performance of airlines and airline holding companies – as key element of this thesis – has yet not been looked at. This chapter provides a view over the historical financial situation of selected airlines and airline holding companies from two perspectives, the stock market performance and the key operating figures from the financial statements.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 5. Summary of current situation and link to research topic

Abstract
This section builds a bridge between the information given in the previous chapters and the research hypotheses and scope described in the next chapter. It summarizes the key statements and need for the analyses conducted in this thesis.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 6. Research hypotheses and scope

Abstract
The last chapters introduced to the thesis and provided an overview of the history of aircraft sourcing and financing as well as of the development of the air capacity market and of the historical financial performance of airlines and airline holding companies. In Chapter 5, the current situation of the industry was summarized together with the need for further research whether, and if so, how basic aircraft sourcing and financing decisions influence a company’s financial success and whether a more strategic financial view on capacity management is beneficial.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 7. Analysis of fleet planning decisions and financial success

Abstract
The following sections describe in more detail the empirical methodology, the observation periods, and the results retrieved from this analysis.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 8. Discussion of results against hypotheses and literature

Abstract
This chapter builds on the hypotheses and the literature consulted to support the rationales as described in Chapter 6.3. It summarizes and substantiates the first discussion of the analysis results already included in the description of the findings within the last sections (cf. Chapter 7) by focusing on the impact and correlation of aircraft fleet and fleet variables on stock prices, revenue growth, and profit margins. It may be important at this point to mention again that the impact of basic aircraft fleet and fleet planning variables on financial performance from an investors or top management point of view had not yet or only insufficiently been investigated and hence only few supporting literature could be consulted.
Ralf Günther

Chapter 9. Conclusion and recommendation

Abstract
The aim of this thesis was to analyze whether basic aircraft fleet and fleet planning decisions have an influence on or show correlation to stock development and financial performance of aircraft operating and holding companies.
Ralf Günther

Backmatter

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