Date of Award

December 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

James H. Peoples

Committee Members

John S. Heywood, Matthew McGinty, Jangsu Yoon


air cargo, cost, freight, transportation


This dissertation examines the cost structure of U.S. air carriers participating in the freight transport sector. From 1991 to 2021, events such as the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the global financial crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic have coincided with various events directly impacting the air freight transport industry. During this 30-year period, air transport has developed and implemented global tracking systems, engaged in labor negotiations, and weathered supply-chain shocks all of which warrant comprehensive evaluation of the U.S. air freight transport industry from the cost perspective. Chapter 1 of this thesis explores existence of natural monopoly and economies of scope among U.S. air carriers which transport both passengers and freight. Chapter 2 examines allocative efficiency and Chapter 3 measures productivity growth among U.S. air carriers which transport freight only.