A discrete choice approach for analysing the airport choice for freighter operations in Europe
Airport competition is a topic which recently gained interest in transport research. However, many studies about airport competition focus on passengers or passenger operations. Research about airport competition for air cargo is still scarce. This paper contributes to the understanding of this topic by analyzing the airport choice for freighter operations in Europe. It first reveals the choice process that airports follow, as well as the different factors that play a role therein. Furthermore, using a discrete choice experiment, we analyzed six choice factors more in-depth. We collected completed questionnaires from 26 airlines and used the discrete choice data as input for a multinomial logit model. The results show that the presence of passenger operations at an airport is not a significant factor in explaining airlines’ choices, which, from an airline’s point of view, supports the idea of all-cargo airports and therefore the relocation of cargo operations to non-congested airports. The presence of forwarders, on the other hand, is the most important factor. This shows that, when trying to influence airlines in their airport choice, airports and policy makers also have to consider the preferences of forwarders.
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