Key Factors Contributing to Management Strategy Development at Air Cargo Carriers

By Wouter Dewulf, Eddy Van de Voorde and Thierry Vanelslander

The air cargo industry can nowadays be judged as a mature industry, where strategy is being drafted far beyond the basic entrepreneurial framework in which an emerging industry tends to operate.This article deals with the key factors contributing to management strategy development at air cargo operators. The objectives of the management of these air cargo operators are being discussed and analyzed.  These objectives can be extremely diverse, and have different mixes of priorities over time. The management objectives determine the key drivers for the management strategy development. The management objectives are on their turn strongly influenced by the industrial environment created by the key drivers and trends of the air cargo industry.  Part of this article focuses on the influence of the key drivers and trends of the air cargo industry on management strategy development and analyzes the key drivers of the management’s strategic thinking within the air cargo industry. These key drivers are being grouped in three main strategic areas: product strategy, market strategy and network strategy, each with their own driving factors. The final part presents and compares a typology of two extreme (‘low cost’ versus ‘full service’ operator) air cargo operators’ management strategies.

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Ready for takeoff? Financing new high-tech ventures in the aviation industry. The case of the Mainport Innovation Fund

“In the rapidly evolving airline industry, emerging technologies could play an increasingly critical role in the delivery of real and perceived customer value” (Taneja, 2010). Taneja, the author of highly interesting books on the aviation business like “Airline survival kit” (2003), “Simpli-Flying” (2004) and “Flying ahead the airplane” (2008) pointed out that innovation is of major relevance for the aviation industry worldwide. Innovation means that new products, services, processes and business models will be introduced successfully to the market. In the field of aviation innovation can be related to the aircraft (e.g. new materials used, avionics and engine technologies) but not necessarily. Innovation is also the introduction of check-in kiosks at airports, new revenue models of the low-cost carriers, the use of social media by airlines and techniques for the decrease of perceived ground noise.

In this short article we discuss why it is not easy to bring an innovative product or service to the market related to the aviation business. But we describe also a venture capital fund initiated in The Netherlands that will support emerging technologies in this domain and speed up innovation: the Mainport Innovation Fund.

[article to be published in Issue 50]

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