From Podes to Antipodes: Positionalities and Global Airline Geographies
Questions of cost and time distance have long been of interest to geographers and have become a more central concern as globalization advances. We analyze the global air travel system by examining the differences in the costs, distances, and times of one aspect of globalization. We review the extant literature on airline transportation by geographers and others, noting especially the near-century-long interest in unraveling cost, time, and distance issues and designing innovative ways to map these interrelated variables. We expand on this base to bring recent scholarship on power and positionality of cities to our understanding of air travel. Our analysis expands on previous work on airline transport geographies in four distinct ways. First, we developed an international database for a large number of cities worldwide that includes measures of distance, cost, frequency and flight duration of airline connections. Second, this database is examined statistically through ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions to measure variations in airline volume with selected socioeconomic variables. Third, these global airline data are mapped using conventional mapping techniques, and finally, we prepare a set of “position-grams” or intersecting spheres of regional variation that measure and map regional patterns and variations in airline connectedness.