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7 Citations (Scopus)


This research addresses the role of innovative forms of passenger air transport in favouring mobility of tourists visiting minor islands. In particular, we studied the feasibility of scheduled transport services using helicopter and seaplane for connecting Sicily in the south of Italy, to the near and very attractive Eolie Islands rapidly.In order to estimate the potential service demand, we allowed for the number of tourists arriving in the Eolie Archipelago during the period 1999-2008. In detail, we considered only the market of visitors with a high willingness-to-pay for time savings (individuals choosing superior hotels) coming from origins at least 300 km away from the Eolie Islands. Furthermore, we excluded a quota of travellers not disposed to flying, determined on the basis of a previous study about air transport demand. We also considered as potential users of the proposed transport services a percentage of the Eolie Isles’ population that was set according to a recent study about the use of air transport by Sicilian residents. The resulting observations were employed to estimate forecasts through an ARIMA model.After a technical analysis to identify the types of helicopter and seaplane suited to implementing regular transport services, we performed a cost analysis concerning the proposed non-conventional air transport services (taking account of fixed, variable, trading and financial costs). In particular, based on the ARIMA model demand forecasts, we determined the service supply (daily frequency and number of aircrafts) in the different cases and evaluated the related total cost per passenger.At the final step, we compared the helicopter and seaplane options with the various existing transport alternatives that can be used to get to the Eolie Islands from the major regional airport, according to generalized transport cost (calculated by adding value of transit time, external costs and service fare). We found out that according to the generalized cost criterion, helicopter is the best solution to connect the main Sicilian airport to the Eolie Isles.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)

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