An airport is best described as a complex of buildings used to facilitatetake off, landing and maintenance of aircraft. Facilities used for the handlingof passengers are called terminals.Major airports are those which arebased in a capital or a major city. For an airport to be classed as a major facility it must serve more than 10 million passengersper annum (mppa). The airportsusually have more than 1 runaway and passenger terminals.
Major airports have many airlines operating out of them from. Theyoperate flights to worldwide destinations and they have a high numbers oftransfer/transit passengers. They are also likely to be owned by privately.London Heathrow is the UK’s largest airport and served 73.4 million passengers in 2014. Regional airports are meant to serve regions or populated areas for example theNorth East, East Midlands and Yorkshire in the UK. They have between 1-10 mppa. They traditionallyhave 1 runaway and terminal and they serve mainly charter and low costairlines.
Regional airports in the UK serve Europeandestinations and they can be publicly or privately owned. Leeds/Bradford is anexample of a regional airport. Leeds/Bradford airport has a fair amount ofairlines such as Aerlingus, Austrian airlines,BH air, British Airways etc.Local airports serve small cities orlarge towns. They have less that 1 million passengers and they have smallrunaways. They have 1 or 2 airlines which are traditionally charterand low cost. They aircraft are most likely used for general aviation such asflying schools or helicopter lessons etc.
Local airportsare privately owned. Blackpool airport is an example of a local airport. Theymay be publicly or privately owned.
Airlines areessential to the industry. Without airlines providing flights there would be noindustry. Just like how there are different airports there are differentairlines that serve different purposes. Scheduled Airlines are sometimes alsoreferred to as legacy or network carrier airlines. Some examples are Emirates,British-Airways and Virgin. They use a large variety of different aircraft typesbecause they operate different routes around the world and can afford to hirepilots with different licenses. Scheduled airlines will also operate with lowerload factors meaning the flight will still operate whether the flight is fullor only consists of a few passengers. They normally offer a broad variety ofdifferent fares and service levels depending on the class you wish to pay for.
The aircraft are normally split up into multiple cabins such as economy,business and first class.Budget Airlines are sometimes alsoreferred to as low cost or no frills airlines. Some examples are Ryan-Air ,Air-Asia & Easy-jet.Budget airlines operate on the same basis as mostscheduled airlines but because they have a significantly lower cost base theycan offer fares that are a lot cheaper.
This is because they only operate shorthaul or domestic flights and if there are not high load factors then the flightwill most likely be cancelled. To be successful they must operate with highload factors. They only use one type of aircraft to avoid hiring differentpilots. Tickets are also non-inclusive meaning food and drink must be bought onboard the aircraft. They also stick to using cheaper airports, so Heathrow forexample and other large airports are avoided to keep costs down.Charter Airlines altogether accountfor roughly 10% of airline travel worldwide , however this percentage is higher in Europe.Europe has a highly developed charter industry.
Charter Airlines offer a variety of services to majorholiday destinations for set time periods , summer or winter. Flights arecommonly part of a holiday package including accommodation and transfers fromthe airport etc. Most flights are booked well in advance and can be bookedsometime over a year prior. Majority of these airlines operate from regionalairports , there are no charter airlines operating from Heathrow Airport.
Cargo Airlines are sometimes alsoreferred to as Freight Airlines. Some examples are DHL , UPS and FedEx.Cargo airlines are used to transport anything fromdocuments , packages to animals and produce. Integrated carriers would be DHLor FedEx. They operate all routes from short haul to long haul. They would haveone cabin with no seats or windows.
Some cargo can be carried in the bellyholds of passenger aircraft, mostly done by scheduled airlines such as BA.Chartered aircraft also take cargo but mostly as a one off or regulardeliveries.