On Airline Agitation: Flight networks and what Facebook comments say about customer satisfaction

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The airline industry is one of the most competitive industries in the Philippines, and has recently undergone a wave of consolidation, rebranding, and restructuring in an effort to capture Filipinos’ growing love for air travel. By analyzing Facebook comments and flight network data, we can shed light on how the key players are competing in this space.

TJ Palanca https://www.twitter.com/tjpalanca

In recent years, the Philippine airline industry has experienced rapid growth, with more and more Filipinos getting to experience air travel for the first time. Not only that - the industry is in flux - fierce competition has caused churn and consolidation among the key players. We can take a closer look by analyzing their current flight networks, as well as performing sentiment analysis on comments on the airlines’ official Facebook pages.

Flight footprints

Using data from Openflights.org, we can map the flight networks of key players to get an idea of how wide or how narrow their service areas are. These key players include: (a) Cebu Pacific (which acquired Tigerair Philippines / SEAIR in January 2014), (b) Philippine Airlines and its budget counterpart PAL Express, / airphilexpress, and (c) AirAsia, which entered into a strategic alliance with ZestAir, formerly known as Asian Spirit, in March 2013.

We’ll first take a look at domestic flight networks: