Airline choice model for an international round-trip flight considering outbound and return flight schedules.


  • Claudia Munoz Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín, Colombia Environmental School, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín Author
  • Henry Laniado Department of Mathematical Sciences, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín Author
  • Jorge Córdoba Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín Author



round-trip, return flight, flight schedule interaction, international fligh, passengers' behaviour


This paper quantified the impact of outbound and return flight schedule preferences on airline choice for international trips. Several studies have used airline choice data to identify preferences and trade-offs of different air carrier service attributes, such as travel time, fare and flight schedule. However, estimation of the effect return flight schedules have on airline choice for an international round-trip flight has not yet been studied in detail. Therefore, this study introduces attributes related to return flight characteristics and round-trip flight schedule interaction into the airline choice models, which have not previously been reported in the literature. We developed a stated preference survey that includes round-trip fares based on flight schedule combinations and the number of days prior to departure fares was purchased. We applied modelling techniques using a set of stated preference data. A mixed logit model was tested for the presence of heterogeneity in passengers' preferences. Our results indicated that models with attributes related to return flight and its interaction with outbound flight attributes have a superior fit compared with models only based on attributes reported in the literature review. The model found shows that airfare, travel time, arrival preference schedule in the outward journey, departure preference in the return journey and the schedule combination of round-trip flight are significantly affecting passenger choice behaviour in international round-trip flights. Sensitivity analysis of airline service characteristics and their marketing implications are conducted. The analysis reports seven policies with the greatest impact on each airline choice probabilities. It shows that by reducing travel time and airfare and by adopting an afternoon and night schedule preference for outbound and return flight, respectively, the highest probability on airline choice would be reached. This research contributes to the current literature by enhancing the understanding of how passengers choose airlines, considering both outbound and inbound journey characteristics. Thus, this study provides an analytical tool designed to provide a better understanding of international round-trip flight demand determinants and support carrier decisions.


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2020-06-30 — Updated on 2024-02-06




Original articles

How to Cite

Munoz, C., Laniado, H., & Córdoba, J. (2024). Airline choice model for an international round-trip flight considering outbound and return flight schedules. Archives of Transport, 54(2), 75-93. (Original work published 2020)


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