Modeling the potential for aviation liberalization in Central Asia – Market analysis and implications for the Belt and Road Initiative

Kun Wang, Xiaowen Fu, Achim I. Czerny, Guowei Hua, Zheng Lei

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes aviation markets in the five countries in Central Asia. Panel data spanning from 2007 to 2015 are used to estimate airline service patterns in origin-destination markets. Econometric estimates for domestic and international markets are subsequently benchmarked, and route groups are paired by alternative matching algorithms. Counterfactual analysis is conducted based on the service model estimation and matching results. Our investigation suggests that although the Central Asia–China markets are characterized by poor connectivity and high airfares, more liberal aviation policies such as those proposed by the Belt and Road initiative are likely to help overcome the existing high service barriers. In particular, our counterfactual analysis suggests that if the Central Asia–China markets were regulated and operated in a similar way to the routes between Central Asia and other states, the probability of having aviation services between cities in China and Central Asia would increase substantially, with more direct flights to a larger number of Chinese cities such as Xiamen, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu, Kunming etc. We recommend further liberalizations between Central Asia and the region's major trade partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-210
Number of pages27
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Air transport
  • Belt and Road
  • Central Asia
  • Liberalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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