Airport Strategy: A Takeoff for a Sustained Competitive Advantage: A Case Study of Copenhagen Airport

Dorothy Cialdino & Riccardo Cicconetti

Student thesis: Master thesis


The rapid changes in the aviation industry over the last decades have evidenced a greater need forairports to focus on strategic thinking. The nature of competition has changed dramatically,increasing the competitive pressure over airports who need to identify their competitive strengthsto survive in the market. The study of airport business has revealed some peculiarities relative toits business model that cannot be fully understood by a single theoretical perspective. The researchhas thus related traditional theories on strategic management together with more recent theorieson multi-sided platform in order to explore whether these views could help understanding airportstrategic decisions. This thesis is conducted under a single case study strategy focusing onCopenhagen Airport (CPH). The data collected have been analysed under three theoreticalperspectives correspondingly the Industrial Organization View (I/O), the Resource Based View(RBV) and the theory of Multi-sided Platforms (MSPs).The research proposes that among the plethora of internal and external factors affecting CPHoperations, some specific aspects should be closely looked in order to obtain competitivestrengths. CPH market power, its ownership structure and the weight of each of the actorsinvolved in the business have emerged from the combination of findings outlined by the threetheoretical perspectives. The study concludes that the integration of different perspectives depictsthe great complexity in evaluating CPH strategy. This has allowed to pull apart aspects of the firmand closely look at its operations to enhance the understanding of a sustained competitiveadvantage.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages114
SupervisorsChristian Erik Kampmann