Forecasting demand for low cost carriers in Australia using an artificial neural network approach
This study focuses on predicting Australia‘s low cost carrier passenger demand and revenue passenger kilometres performed (RPKs) using traditional econometric and artificial neural network (ANN) modelling methods. For model development, Australia‘s real GDP, real GDP per capita, air fares, Australia‘s population and unemployment, tourism (bed spaces) and 4 dummy variables, utilizing quarterly data obtained between 2002 and 2012, were selected as model parameters. The neural network used multi-layer perceptron (MLP) architecture that compromised a multi-layer feed-forward network and the sigmoid and linear functions were used as activation functions with the feed forward‐back propagation algorithm. The ANN was applied during training, testing and validation and had 11 inputs, 9 neurons in the hidden layers and 1 neuron in the output layer. When comparing the predictive accuracy of the two techniques, the ANNs provided the best prediction and showed that the performance of the ANN model was better than that of the traditional multiple linear regression (MLR) approach. The highest R-value for the enplaned passengers ANN was around 0.996 and for the RPKs ANN was round 0.998, respectively.