NETWORK STRATEGY PROBLEMATIC
... The evolution of our industry, particularly quick and unstable, brings multiple challenges to aeronautical institutions, especially when facing customers new trends and their renewed demands for better value vs. cost, but also the fierce competition between all the actors in the market, either airlines and airports.
Given all those factors, it is sometimes challenging to concentrate of strategic matters, even more when day-to-day operations take a significant place in the daily schedule of those involved, and all sorts of issues arise and disrupt an operation otherwise well planned and efficient.
An almost daily monitoring of developments and trends in traffic on its own garden, but also that of the competition, is nevertheless mandatory in order to obtain the best performance from the business
Each airport, each airline does have its own specifics, its traffic structure, and by that, its own strenghts and weaknesses, either due to its structure, its customer base, or its regional and global competition.
For an airport
..it is vital to know and understand the evolution of traffic of airlines operating within its direct and indirect catchment area, either in its own soil, or on close, and therefore competing airports.
However, statistical tools usually used only partially meet this critical need for information, often providing only the volume of inbound & outbound passengers but without providing the final origin or destination (O&D) for each passenger, or financial performance, global or individual.
.. are often courted by countless airports, many of them offering great financial packages, many airlines have forgotten that their core business doesn't and shouldn't lie on subsidies they ask from the markets they exploit, but trully from the atractiveness of a coherent network. Not from a random presence on markets that can be stimulated short-term but without any warranty of durability, and which routes they stop at the earliest opportunity, often damaging their image.
At the end
..both airlines and airports sometimes concentrate their efforts on markets mainly relying on prestige, and oportunities are missed by not having the right data, often due to a limited access to information that doesn't allow them to explore correctly other possibilities.
It isn't then unsual to see huge investments being made to open high resonance routes whose financial balance is particularly precarious in view of the many constraints imposed by the market, including competition and pressure on prices imposed by the traveller.
On the opposite, niche markets, benefiting from a lower volume and a much less glamour aura in terms of communication are very often (and involuntarily) ignored, while both airlines and airports could benefit, serving a limited but high-value clientele while also avoiding massive investments in terms of communication.