The airport business in a competitive environment
The liberalisation of the European air transport market has introduced new dynamics in the airport industry. In recent decades, airports evolved from infrastructure providers in a monopolistic context, to commercially orientated enterprises in a competitive environment. Current studies of airport strategic management lack a comprehensive perspective that enables airport operators to best identify the opportunities created by such dynamics. This paper analyses an airport as a multi-service firm that interacts with a network of stakeholders – the airport business network – to deliver several service packages to different groups of customers. An integrated conceptual framework was developed to aid academics and practitioners in the appraisal and design of competitive strategies for airports. Such framework covers a clear gap in existing literature, partly due to the fact that current perspectives on airport management fail to address the complexity of the industry in the present competitive environment.