Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aviation - Airport Development and Management



First Advisor

William Rankin

Second Advisor

Ulreen Jones

Third Advisor

Lars B. Hansen


Airline deregulation caused a profound reshape in the aviation industry. The liberalization of the aviation sector resulted in a favorable environment for the emergence of low-cost carriers (LCCs). Following deregulation, airlines saw many attempts at their business strategies to gain more passengers in air transportation market. To capture additional market shares of passenger traffic, the business models of LCCs have evolved to mirror the more common business models employed by the traditional legacy airlines. The purpose of this study was to examine what effect, if any, exists between LCCs’ market share of passenger enplanements at secondary airports and their business models in a multi-airport system in the U.S. between the years of 1997 to 2017. A chi-square test was used to determine if the change in LCCs’ business model was significant, while descriptive analysis, including socioeconomic, demographic, and comparative analyses, was used to explain these changes. The findings of this study suggested that LCCs’ market share of passenger enplanements at U.S secondary airports was significant, partially because of the change in their business models. However, a combination of factors, including an increase in population, employment, and personal incomes, may have contributed to this significant finding.