The liberalisation of the air transport market has introduced new dynamics in the airport
industry, greatly increasing its complexity. In recent decades, airports have evolved from
infrastructure providers in a monopolistic context, to commercially-orientated enterprises in a
competitive environment. Existing research on airport competition is usually focused on
traffic leakage from neighbouring airports for origin-destination markets, or between large
hubs for transfers. However, the existence of competition between airports, in the different
ways presented in this work, has created a change of paradigm and sufficient evidence for
abandoning the idea of airports as monopolies.
This work aims at proposing an integrated framework for the analysis of the airport industry
in which an airport is seen 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.
We present three novel contributions for the analysis of the global airport industry: a new
definition of customer groups for the airport, viewed as a multi- service firm; the airport
business network, a model to examine the interactions between the agents involved in the
airport business to produce the airport service packages; and an identification of
differentiation factors that airport managers may combine to produce competitive strategies.
We also propose the integration of these elements, in order to provide a common framework
to support the analysis of the current competitive environment within the industry.
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