|Severe financial crisis sweeping the world causes international trade to fall
down sharper than expected in 2009. As taking care of goods physical
movement, the transportation industry has been severely impacted and the air
freight business with it. Adding into this equation changes by declining yield,
violent oil price fluctuations and decreasing demand, followed by routing cutoffs
and over-capacity of airlines, airports are directly influenced. Airline
business changes cause fewer cargo volumes, resulting to less airport revenue.
At the same time airport management faces airport development requirements,
operational challenges, pressure on airport costs and higher uncertainty with
regard to future cargo volumes. All this pushes for a mental switch which is
happening in the airline industry right now and the airport management
recognizes that the competition toughens but that the turbulence also always
creates strategic business development opportunities.
The research purpose is to recognize how the relevant airport stakeholders
picture the future of air freight development, and to analyze whether their
visions for the future are aligned. With step-by-step approach, the industry
level analysis seeks to describe how the Nordic air freight industry looks like;
and what are the characteristics of the market place in the light of global trade
changes. The paper structures and analyzes these influences with focus on
Airport Management. The second step was to acquire deeper understanding of
the airport as a specific micro-environment, and LFV as a state-owned airport
manager. A Case study was conducted on Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport
(GOT) and within their industry network (stakeholders).
For interviews were there is empirical bias for Nordic, especially to Swedish
data. To the certain extend, the results can be considered strongly indicative to
all Nordic Airport Management business development units, and much of the
discussion can be of interest to other similar European non-central hub airport
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managers, and to those trading in the Nordic market place. LFV aims to use
the outcome of the research as a supporting input for their future business
Theoretical framework builds on the known industry influencers’ reports,
expert views, and on existing academic research. To continue to build up the
research and to assess the strategic industry environment, theoretical tools
such as the Porter 5-forces analysis and the Stakeholder model are applied.
The identified stakeholders are the airlines, export/import industry, shippers,
forwarders, integrators, other logistics providers and partners such as airport
Literature and experts reviews indicate that airport operations management
is a very specific micro-environment, directly connected and dependant on
airline business performance, and airports worldwide are seeking ways to
diversify the business opportunities. Forecasts in the beginning of 2009 show
that the airline industry losses will still mount during 2009, but if the current
oil price and 2009 expected lower oil prices will compensate the costs in
2009, capacity-related savings may just match the collapse in revenues.
Empirical findings of the Case Study also indicate that looking into the
future, the depression economics may have not hit the air cargo business so
hard after all - the first signs of careful positivity and trust for the future for
the airline industry and for the total growth for air transport in the future can
Further research results give deeper view to the future development of
stakeholders’ global market visions, the type of future Nordic air cargo, and
other important structural changes of air cargo business actors possibly
impacting cargo airport management and their future strategy.
At the company level the research results address LFV Cargo and
stakeholder future relationships, provided LFV and airport services,
competition, visions for multimodality, visions in changes in airline networks
and in airport structures, in pricing and in future demand turbulences.