Information, communication and transport networks have always been in a state of flux, while they also influence each other. Extensive research efforts have been made to investigate the dynamics in the structure and use of networks, for example, by means of network geometries, Small-World effects and Scale-Free phenomena. We will illustrate these new developments on the basis of airline network evolution. Using Lufthansa's networks as an example, this paper aims to show the empirical relevance of various network indicators-such as connectivity and concentration-for understanding changing patterns in airline network configurations. After an extensive discussion of various statistical results, a decision-aid method, viz. multi-criteria analysis, is used to investigate the robustness of our findings. The results highlight the actual strategic choices made by Lufthansa for its own network, as well in combination with its partners in Star Alliance. © 2010 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved.
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