Effects of Liberalization on Swiss Airports

By Patrick Csikos, Frédéric Varone

The aim of this paper is to analyse the effects of liberalisation policies in the aviation sector on the two Swiss airports of Zurich and Geneva. After identifying the main changes in the organization of the aviation sector in the phases preceding and succeeding domestic liberalisation (1998) and that of the European Union (2002), we compare the development strategies of the two infrastructures by using four indicators : functional diversification, the dependence of the airports on the operators, territorial integration and capital structure. The results show two opposite trajectories, with, however – and even in a liberalised context –, a trend towards the emergence or resurgence of a dominant carrier at a particular airport, whether it is or is not operated as a hub.

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