How catchment and leakage data can improve your pitch

Ahead of her participation in the Routes Europe 2019 Conference Programme, Routesonline spoke to Ilona Cambron, director air service development at ASM Americas, to find out more about how catchment and leakage data can massively improve an airport's pitch to an airline.

What is catchment and leakage as it relates to an airport?

Obviously there are a lot of airports out there. To justify new service there are two avenues to prove the market to an airline. You can argue for stimulation, that the market will grow with the airline adding service. You can also argue for share shift from a nearby airport with existing traffic. The latter requires an analysis of your catchment and how much traffic is leaking between airports. Both of these traffic justifications represent risk for an airline in terms of determining what passengers will do. Anything that makes that analysis more rigorous and less of a guess improves your pitch.

How does this catchment and leakage data improve an airport’s pitch to an airline?

Well, the data used to determine where passengers live and what airport they fly out of has been pretty limited up until now. There are a few sources, but the data has been locations of travel agents and in some cases credit card billing addresses, but nobody has created a product that takes the data and fills in all the gaps. This new product offers data by postal code with 100 percent traffic coverage and at a pretty detailed level while still respecting data privacy limits.

Are there existing customers using this data or is this the launch of it?

In the US this data has been around for about three years and there are 20 to 30 customers already, mostly airports ranging in size from large airports like Boston to smaller airports like Des Moines, Iowa. Canada was also added last year. What we are announcing at Routes Europe is that the product will now be available in Europe and ASM will be the exclusive provider of this amazing new data.

Do you have any success stories where this leakage data has led directly to new service?

There are actually numerous examples in the US where we have pitched airlines with a route forecast using this new data that have resulted in new service, and the airlines have also shown a great deal of interest. In the US, airlines have been so impressed with the data we have shown them at conferences that they have asked for a headquarters presentation of the methodology for all their planning staff. We will be giving essentially the same presentation at Routes Europe.

Does the data include LCCs, ULCCs, and all foreign carriers?

If it’s an airline you usually see in the global demand data you normally buy then it’s included. Carriers like Ryanair, Norwegian, and pretty much all offshore carriers are included. That’s the beauty of the methodology. The only carriers not included are charters and maybe some small air taxi using turboprops, but its more inclusive than anything else you’ve ever seen in terms of this level of detail.

We’ve seen some other new data sources, but they’ve had pretty hard to believe results. How does this data work?

Well, we are going to save some secrets for the session, but you’ve hit upon what is really special about this data. Yes, there are some other “modern” data sources out there and the problem they all have is data skew where some kind of traveler or location is massively over-represented or under-represented in their data. In those other new data offerings you see funny things like LHR-CDG being the number one air market sold in Prague. What we are offering is really next level because of the error correction that is being done in the processing of the data. By the time it comes out of the process the holes are filled in and the errors corrected. You’ll see if you can come by for the session!

Hear from Ilona Cambron and Aidan Mooney, vice president consulting at ASM, at Routes Europe 2019 on Tuesday 9 April at 12.05. See the full Conference Programme for more.