The University of Westminster alumnus Eric Agthe, who graduated from the Air Transport Planning and Management MSc course last September, has won the Helios prize for his dissertation about the impact of self-connecting passengers on the hub connectivity at Frankfurt Airport. He was presented with the prize by the Director of Helios Mike Pearson at the Royal Festival Hall on his graduation day.

The Helios Awards were launched four years ago by Mike Pearson, to support and encourage students in pursuing careers in the air transport industry. Eric was selected for the prize for receiving the highest marks on his Masters dissertation.

Eric’s dissertation examined the scope for creating additional connections between non-aligned airlines - particularly leisure operators and low-cost carriers - in order to supplement the hub function that is provided primarily by Lufthansa and the Star Alliance airlines at Frankfurt Airport.

The research involved original and highly innovative studies of the scheduling, pricing and practical operational issues required to make this a reality. Eric also developed a new software which considered a minimum and a maximum connecting time as well as a backtracking rule.

When speaking about his research findings, Eric said: “In the end, I identified 211,863 viable connections with my methodology. 12,013 are self-connection opportunities in the current schedule of Frankfurt Airport that are not exploited at the moment. This value would lead to a 6% connectivity increase at this airport.”

The University of Westminster is one of the UK's leading centres for the study of the Architecture and the Built Environment inspiring more than 2,000 students at its teaching base at Marylebone, London. Postgraduate programmes offer a range of specialised courses underpinned by our strong research base.

The research quality was recognised in the recent Research Assessment Exercise. Twenty per cent of the research in the Architecture and the Built Environment was judged as world-leading, with 45 per cent judged as internationally excellent.

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