The Impact of Opening Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport on the Polish Aviation Market

In the past decade, the Polish airport market has seen an unprecedented increase in passenger numbers. Regional airports in the second half of the XX century functioned as monopolies in a market heavily typified by Chicago style bilateral contracts. Consequently, a "hub-and-spoke" system has been in operation, where the regional airports perform the role of first port of call for passengers flying into a hub. Open skies policy, as well as the emergence of low cost airlines in 2004 upgraded the status of regional airports to that of regular commercial ones. Many of these had the opportunity to report a profit for the first time, as well as being able to function in a competitive environment where they could directly compete with other airports both for new carriers, in order to expand their connection network, as well as for new passengers. In this environment, a key factor to success to an increasing extent has become the airport's position in the market in comparison to similar sized airports as well as in reference to developing hubs like Berlin. Using information about network connections, the number and type of passengers at specific airports, flight times and distances to and from airports, a 2 hour isochrone analysis was carried out and 4D strategic maps were constructed. As a result of the data analysis it was possible to identify several market subgroups consisting of airports competing for the same passenger, network connection and/or geographical profile. Accepting as a premise that the further development of Berlin as a hub will see the airport maintaining a similar carrier structure and list of destinations on offer, it can be classified in the same strategic group of hub airports as Prague and Warsaw. The results identified a relatively consistent group of the 6 biggest regional Polish airports as well as a group of second-tier international hubs which shared certain characteristics of regional airports. The final group to be identified in the results was that of the smallest Polish airports whose importance for the market is negligible. The growth of Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) as a hub airport poses a greater threat to the influence of Warsaw's Chopin Airport (WAW) in western Poland than to the functioning of regional airports in Poland. These airports as well as developing quick intermodal connections will have to increasingly actively find their own niches in the market. A potential threat to Wroclaw (WRO) airport may in the future come from the growth of smaller German airports such as Leipzig and Dresden and/ or their Czech equivalents. In the eventuality of an abolition of restrictive visa requirements between Poland and Russia, a similar phenomenon may be observed in the future with the airports in Gdansk and Kaliningrad.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 51-58
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01627203
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2017 9:38AM