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Calculation Airport Passengers in 1 year

brainstorming questions Case Interview estimation Market sizing
Recent activity on May 18, 2017
1 Answer
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Franziska asked on May 17, 2017

Hi everyone,
I was recently asked to calculate the passengers of an airport in 1 year. I used the method of what I assume would be the bottom-up approach: # of runways, utilization of runways, opening hours airport, # of planes on runway, capacity planes and utilization of planes, etc. I got pretty close to the exact number, so I assume this was a good approach :)
However, could someone please explain to me how the top-down approach would look like? Would I start with the percentage of travellers flying for leisure/work etc.? And how would I proceed then?
Thanks a lot in advance!


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replied on May 18, 2017
Ex-Bain consultant, got offers from McK, BCG, Bain. Now a Product Manager at a startup

Hi Franziska,

I'd try the following:

1. The population served by a particular airport (if there are several airports in an area, also assume an airport's share)

2. Based on personal experience, estimate the number of people flying for business and leisure (tough)

3. Estimate how many times a year they fly (easier)

As always with these cases, there are many ways to do it and this is just one. Also this top-down approach will be less accurate than what you came up with.

Hope it was helpful!



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Franziska on May 18, 2017

Thank you very much Michal!!

Quirin on May 19, 2017

Great insight, Michal! I'd still advise against using the demand side for this estimation, though. Mainly because of the type of assumptions one will have to make. For this case, and for any other estimation case where the supply side is the constraining factor, you have to go with a supply side estimation.

Michal gave the best answer


Ex-Bain consultant, got offers from McK, BCG, Bain. Now a Product Manager at a startup
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