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M.Sc. In Air Transport Management Program  › Courses  › Aviation Economics and Financial Analysis
Aviation Economics and Financial Analysis

Course Instructors

The primary course instructor is Dr. Michael Tretheway. He has responsibility for the entire course and will be present on site for the entire course of study. He will be assisted by Dr. Serpen and Ms. Markhvida in particular modules.

Primary Course Instructor
Dr. Michael W. Tretheway

Assistant Instructor
Dr. Emre Serpen

Assistant instructor
Kate Markhvida

It is expected that Dr. Tretheway will teach 9 modules
Dr. Serpen will teach 2 modules
Ms. Markhvida will teach 3 modules 

Course Intent

This course will provide background in the economics of the airline industry as well as cover the essentials of airline finance.

Economics will cover the basics of supply and demand. It will cover the differences in the economics of various carrier business models (full service network carriers, low cost carriers, ultra low cost carriers and charter operations. It will discuss airline families, including co-owned major carriers (e.g., Lufthansa-Swiss-Austrian) and feeder carriers. Alliances will be covered. With the emergence of carrier families and alliances, it is increasingly important to understand how competition authorities review proposed acquisitions and alliances.

Airline finance will cover the basic sources of funds for carriers, financial analysis and financial planning. Financial settlements will be explained. Forecasting will be covered. Insurance will also be a topic addressed in this course. 

Course Format

42 hours of instruction
6 days, each with two 3.5 hour units
14 modules in total

Teaching level

  • This course is a course in a masters’ degree
  • Students will have basic knowledge of core business concepts in accounting, finance, marketing, but with some review to be provided, where necessary.
  • Students should have a basic knowledge of the aviation industry and must have a work experience with an airline company.

The course will be lecture based.

Course Requirements

​The graded course elements and the assigned weights are listed below (100 percent total):
  • 20 percent - Individual contribution to class discussion ("participation")
  • 30 percent - Case study report
  • 50 percent - Final Examination
Each component of a student's grade in this course will be assigned as a percentage grade (ranging from 0% to 100%). The final grade for the course will be calculated by multiplying each grade by the weight in the grading system described above.

Course letter grades will be assigned using the plus/minus system. As a guideline, students should target at least a performance level of 90 percent to earn an A- or above, 80 percent to earn a B- or above, and 70 percent to earn a C. The assignment of plus/minus within these general grade categories will be determined based on breaks in the overall distribution of grades and the instructor's discretion.

The more you put into the course, the more you get out of it.

Course Outline

Course Textbook 

Course Readings
Lecture Notes
  • Lecture notes and other extras used in the lectures are given at the tables below.
Main Lecture Notes  
Module 01 - Introduction: The Aviation Value Chain
Module 02 - Demand and Supply
Module 03 - Costs
Module 04 - Airline Business Models (FSNCs LCCs ULCCs and Charter Carriers)
Module 05 - Pricing
Module 06 - Sources of Finance
Module 07 - Financial Planning
Module 08 - Airline Business and Financial Planning
Module 09 - Insurance
Module 10 - Distribution
Module 11 - Air Cargo
Module 12 - Mergers and Alliances
Module 13 - Antitrust Economics and Review
Module 14 - Airport Economics


Lecture Notes - Extras  
Supplementary Notes for Module 02
Seat Management Example for Module 06
Annual Report Excerpt for Module 06
Fare Buckets additional slides for Day 6

Exam Questions  
Example of Exam Questions  

Case Study

Materials for the Case Study   
Case Study Project
Introduction for the Case Study
DFW 12th Complex Case Study
Case Study Data (Exhibit 4)
Case Study Data (Exhibit 5)
Case Study Data (Exhibit 6)
Airport Codes - AA & AE Cities