Expansion into new markets has the greatest impact on network growth. Adding new destinations to an airline's network provides access to new revenue streams and often accelerates economic development in the newly connected markets. The development of new domestic and regional routes in emerging aviation markets stimulates economic growth within the region as a result of the commerce that increased passenger traffic generates. The delivery of new, more efficient long-range airplanes in an array of sizes is enabling airlines to match airplane capacity to market demand much more precisely, which in turn, makes it possible to serve new long-distance city pairs that were not economical in the past. In fact, more than 21 new nonstop routes, including Tokyo-to-Dusseldorf, London-to-Austin, San Francisco-to-Chengdu, and Beijing-to-Boston, have been launched in the past 3 years alone, using the 787.
These growth strategies play a role in the development of hub-based and point-to-point networks. Airlines borrow freely from both models in the continual effort to optimize schedules for maximum revenue and operational efficiency. Airlines with global networks are strengthening schedule connections to maximize traffic and revenue as the trend toward smoothing traffic peaks at hubs, which took hold during the past decade, softens. Airlines, such as the Gulf carriers that take advantage of sixth-freedom connecting power, continue to expand their hubs and networks. Similarly, point-to-point airlines are connecting more city pairs in their networks with nonstop links to maximize airplane utilization and increase both point-to-point and connection traffic moving through their systems.