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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2018, Article ID 5236798, 10 pages
Research Article

Comparative Analysis on Propagation Effects of Flight Delays: A Case Study of China Airlines

1College of Civil Aviation, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210016, China
2School of Aviation, UNSW Sydney, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
3Department of the Built Environment, Eindhoven University of Technology, 5600 MB Eindhoven, Netherlands

Correspondence should be addressed to Weiwei Wu; nc.ude.aaun@iewhn

Received 8 September 2017; Revised 12 November 2017; Accepted 3 December 2017; Published 29 January 2018

Academic Editor: Emanuele Crisostomi

Copyright © 2018 Weiwei Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper aims to capture the interdependency among the sequence of flight delays due to airline operations in airports, weather, and air traffic control conditions. A copula function is used to determine the distribution of delay sequence and examine the propagation effects. Using the actual data sourced from an airline in Asia Pacific region, it is found that flight delays could propagate to downstream airports/airlines, where the strength of delays was decreased, passed on, or increased. Considering the possible effects of increased delays under air traffic control or airline factors, scenarios that adjust flight schedules with additional buffer time were created and analyzed. Results show that, by adding buffer time efficiently, flight schedules can become more reliable.