Thursday, April 14, 2016 - Professor Andreas Papatheodorou, Dean of the London College of Hospitality and Tourism, welcomed students, staff and members of the public to his lecture The Airline - Airport - Tourism Destination Authority Relationship: An Eternal Business Triangle? The audience packed into The William Barry Theatre to find out more about this fascinating topic.
Professor Papatheodorou highlighted the interdependent nature of the airline, airport and tourism destination authority relationship, and showed how the welfare of the three stakeholders can be maximised by well-informed negotiations and rational trust-building. He also illustrated some of the problems that can arise for the three parties.
He warned against ‘white elephants’ – grandiose infrastructure projects built without the necessary elements in place to ensure they are used to their full potential. One example of this is Montreal-Mirabel airport, built at great expense but never living up to its potential and too costly to repurpose. He also warned against the ‘winner’s curse’, mentioning the Ryanair effect, where destinations compete with each other to have the low-cost carrier fly to them and then find they have paid too much. He stressed the important of a diversified portfolio, so that an airport is not reliant on a single carrier.
The Professor concluded his lecture by highlighting how trust can be built in the relationship between the three parties, which might be a carrier investing in the infrastructure of an airport to demonstrate its long-term commitment.
There were a number of questions from the audience after the lecture and Professor Papatheodorou shared his views on the possible Heathrow expansion. He said that while an extra runway is needed near London, where it is based is not as important as where the investment comes from and the business and environmental impact.
After the lecture, guests enjoyed a reception with food provided by the London College of Hospitality and Tourism.