A two-stage hub location method for air transportation in Brazil



During the past decade, the Brazilian air passenger market has been growing at impressive rates suggesting the need for rationalization and the consistent use of the hub-and-spoke configuration. This research considers 135 airports, mostly extremely small, and the aim is to identify regional hubs that would accumulate traffic and feed a predefined restricted number of major hubs. The proposed approach is divided into two phases: the first phase considers all 135 existing commercial airports and using the p-median problem identifies p airports that would play the role of regional hubs, and the second phase considers a problem with these p airports and solves the q-hub location problem. Both phases are sequentially solved by the software AIMMS 3.9. The research has broad implications consistent with the publicized efforts to improve management practices, support a larger number of commercial airports, and face the expected peak demand in the upcoming international events. Given the growth in the air passenger market in Brazil, both phases may be seen as two independent objectives.