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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|298||2011||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research in Transportation Business & Management, Volume 1, Issue 1, August 2011, Pages 55-61
Traditionally designed for network carrier operations, airports are increasingly diversifying their services with new facilities being developed, specifically, to attract and accommodate low-cost carriers. In order to reflect the changing environment, some airports have built low-cost terminal facilities (or refurbished existing ones) for low-cost carriers. Applying a resource-based view, namely the VRIO framework (VRIO is an acronym for Value, Rarity, Imitability and Organisation), this paper analyses the potential of dedicated low-cost terminals in affecting the competitive positioning of airports. The research investigates for selected airports the potential benefits associated with the development of low cost passenger terminals and the factors which may help turning these benefits into a (sustainable) comparative advantage. It is argued that low-cost terminals offer a temporary competitive advantage which has so far not often been exploited.
As much as the airline industry has been transformed by liberalisation, which began in the US in 1978 with the Airline Deregulation Act, the airport business model too has undergone dramatic changes — some of them emanating from airlines. Prior to deregulation of aviation in Europe virtually all airports and airlines were owned by a local, regional or national government and run as public utilities. They were thus somewhat insulated from competition. Moreover, aircraft and passenger handling were the core competencies of airports and concerning revenue generation the emphasis was on the aeronautical business. However, with the deregulation of the intra-European travel markets, the final phase of which was completed in 1997, low-cost carriers (LCCs) took off and airports that previously serviced only network carriers (NCs) were now servicing LCCs as well (Barrett, 2004). The European LCC market has expanded in recent years and it seems likely that the trend will continue. These new airport clients have been reluctant to use existing facilities and have shown preferences for customised products that optimally fulfil their requirements. Privatisation and commercialisation of airports combined with a slowly intensifying competition among airports have made airport management more profit orientated. As Graham (2010) acknowledges, airport owners and managers now need to develop strategies to gain and sustain competitive advantages. In order to differentiate their positioning, some airports have developed dedicated low-cost terminals (LCTs), which is the removal of non-essential features to make the terminal more cost-effective and therefore consistent with the needs of low-cost carriers. The key objective of LCTs is to provide a minimalistic and efficient terminal facility at a reasonable price. This is achieved by cutting the non-core travel services to allow lower cost structures which in turn allow airports to charge LCCs low prices. The key question is whether this business strategy might create competitive advantage for airports pursuing it. – Does the provision of low-cost terminals have any significant influence on airport profitability? – What are the risks inherent in this strategy? Moreover, are dedicated low-cost terminals a successful solution model to the turbulent aviation environment? The remainder of this paper is organised as follows. Following the Introduction, a short overview of the role and recent developments in airport terminals is presented in Section 2, and thereafter we describe the VRIO framework in Section 3. This is followed by an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of dedicated LCTs using the VRIO and Porter frameworks in Section 4. The paper offers three case studies in Section 5 and discusses some managerial implications of dedicated LCTs for airports in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, attempts have been made to assess the dedicated low cost terminals' potential for achieving competitive advantage for airports. Moves towards deregulation and in particular the emergence of the low cost carrier sector are having major implications for airports business strategies. As discussed, the traditional full service airport model is inconsistent with the business model of LCCs. In order to ensure future airport growth, some airports have integrated differential levels of quality in their strategies by developing the concept of dedicated LCTs. In terms of business strategy, dedicated LCTs contain elements of both cost leadership strategy and product differentiation. The analysis of LCTs using the VRIO framework has shown that LCT is valuable resulting from possible cost savings and additional traffic and revenue from commercial activities. Given the individual characteristic of each airport and in order to precisely appreciate the effect of a dedicated LCT on airport profitability, a thorough analysis using two case studies was undertaken. The analysis of Bordeaux, Bremen and Copenhagen airports has demonstrated that the development of an LCT can help an airport improve its competitive advantage for at least some time which might be quite long given the rarity of LCTs. LCTs have a positive effect in the development of the airports and local economies. Revenue generation, but also tourism and regional development seem to be the key driver of low cost terminal development. The main conclusion emerging is that the impact of LCTs on airport revenue is very much dependent of the ability of the airport managers to monitor the performance of retail. Monitoring the performance of the retail outlets seems to be the key to success. LCTs represent an opportunity to airports, but can also represent a dilemma. Investing in a dedicated tailored LCT can be a risky venture, because of the volatile character of LCCs and the lack of flexibility associated with LCTs. The risk may be mitigated if airlines are actively involved in airport activities and in particular, in terminal facilities investment. The potential benefits of airlines involvement (joint venture construction, vertical integration, etc.) include the following: risk and cost sharing and increased reliability. Even though active involvement does not completely mitigate the risks faced by an airport when investing in an LCT, these risks are shared between airports and airlines and should therefore help lower the costs of capital involved in financing the project. Closer relationship between airlines and airports, however, usually means losing diversity and flexibility for at least one partner. In this respect the case of Bremen airport served by a single LCC is very instructive. By actively involving the LCC in the construction of LCT through joint venture or vertical integration the airports may protect themselves from the threat of opportunistic behaviour of airlines. This will give a feeling of partnership in the future, and will increase stability or reduce the prospect of a sudden withdrawal. Perhaps LCTs enable airports to take advantage of the environment created by LCCs. However, airport managers must carefully evaluate the agreements' terms and the associated costs and benefits of investing in low cost facilities. A long term viability of each LCC and its impact on incumbent operators need careful evaluation. It is also of paramount importance to carefully plan with airline partners to ensure that cannibalisation11 of other partner airlines does not occur. Problems may also arise if traffic growth reaches a certain level exceeding capacity. Careful evaluation of future prospects or construction of extendable LCTs may help mitigate such problems. It is also important to note that passenger's perception of LCTs may impact on the success of the concept. This involves understanding of what drives passengers' benefits (e.g. how a LCT serves passenger needs better than potential substitutes). A number of limitations might need to be considered in evaluating the findings of this paper. More case studies, a comparison between investing in LCT in main airports versus regional airport or in private airports versus publicly owned airports may provide more insights into the impact of LCTs on airport profitability. Another line of research worth pursuing further is to study the phenomenon using quantitative methods.