The airport choice of cargo operators
Faculty of Applied Economics
12th WCTRS World Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, 11-15.07.2010
University of Antwerp
In air transport research, some time has already been dedicated to the study of how passengers choose their airports as well as to the airport choice of passenger airlines. However, much less research has been carried out with regard to cargo operators and their choice of airports. This paper is a step towards better understanding the relationship between air cargo operators and airports. In the first section the market environment of air cargo is sketched to position the research in the general field of air transport. Air cargo traffic developments as well as a categorization of air cargo are presented. Furthermore, the main subjects of this research are introduced: the airlines and airports. Subsequently, a literature review about airport choice is carried out, revealing the airport choice process and important factors which influence the airport choice of cargo carriers. The choice factors can be clustered in six groups: restrictions, time factors, cost factors, market factors, strategic factors and the perception of airport quality. Concluding, the study suggests that more in depth research should be carried out in the field of the airport choice of air cargo carriers. It is recommended that the focus of this research is laid on freighter operators, meaning the all-cargo divisions of combination carriers as well as the all-cargo carriers but excluding integrators due to their different business model. Finally, the results of this study and further research in this topic will help to better comprehend how air cargo carriers choose their airports and ultimately how airports can form their strategies to attract air cargo carriers.