UCL Energy Institute


Bojun Wang

Thesis Title: Simulating impacts of airport capacity constraints on airline airfares and the role of airfares in airline supply decision-making under competition

Primary supervisor: Prof. Andreas Schäfer
Secondary supervisor: Dr Aidan O'Sullivan

Starting date: Sep 2015
Projected completion date: Sep 2019

In recent years, global air transport has experienced the fastest expansion amongst all transport modes with a growth rate of about 5-6%. The rapid expansion exceeds increases in airport capacity, especially in the industrialized world. Constrained airport capacity may lead to increases in airline costs thus increases in airfares, whereas unrestricted capacity growth will require substantial infrastructure investment and considerable environmental costs in terms of increased noise, reduced air quality, and increased contribution to climate change.  All of these are lying in the key interests of airlines when they make strategic decisions to maximize profits; however, their decision-making process in the context of constrained airport capacity is relatively unknown.

Bojun’s research aims to simulate the impact of constrained airport capacity on airline airfares, which would impact passenger demand growth and therefore regional economies. The fare change is expected to be a key factor of airline decision-making, and in order to simulate it in detail, a fare model will be developed, estimating average airline itinerary fares based on profit maximization under competition. The airfare model will add significant capability that is not yet addressed in any other aviation-environment or air transport systems model; specifically, it will enable researchers to foresee the potential shift of traffic by airlines away from congested hub airports if no capacity is added, and also allow estimation of airline profits change as effects of climate policies on airlines.


Before starting his PhD at UCL Energy Institute, Bojun worked as an energy and environmental policy analyst at China Policy, a Beijing-based research and advisory company with close connection to UN and international NGOs. Bojun completed his MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment also from UCL. During the MSc study, Bojun was also an intern researcher at the Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) London office, the second best environment and energy think tank in the UK. Bojun is now working as a research assistant on the EPSRC funded project titled “Airport Capacity Consequences Leveraging Aviation Integrated Modelling (ACCLAIM)”, with total research grant of around £ 1.5 million.

Publications and other work

MSc Dissertation: 
Wang, B., 2014. Impacts of Emissions Trading Schemes to Low-Carbon Investments: An Elicitation Study on Chinese Pilot Markets with Uncertainties. (Distinction) Dissertation submitted to the University College London Energy Institute.

Research Activity:
Airport Capacity Consequence Leveraging Aviation Integrated Modelling (ACCLAIM), funded by EPSRC