Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Cheryl Lentz


Aeronautical revenue from landing and handling charges to carriers is falling significantly below 60% of total revenue and will not persist as the main source of income for airports. Airports in Europe cannot continue to rely on profits from airlines; operating companies need to improve the competitiveness through commercial income from different traveler types. The purpose of this multiple case study was to understand the elements of successful sales strategies by concessionaires (retailers) at the metropolitan airport system of Zurich and Basel in hopes of improving the nonaeronautical revenue from leisure travelers, a price-sensitive customer segment. The conceptual framework was corporate strategic planning with the underlying concept of sustainable business operations. Semistructured interviews included 9 executives and senior managers of concessions and retail operations at Zurich International and Basel EuroAirport, and covered major themes such as managing the shopping experience of passengers as well as collaboration between concessionaires, airports, and airlines. The key findings, which emerged from an inductive analysis of the data, were that the identification of personalized offerings and the inclusion of individual travelers' needs are required to ensure a flexible approach by each airport and shop location throughout the terminal. The collected data contained indicators for holistic and targeted concepts by retail concessions in cooperation with airport stakeholders. Social implications include sustainable retail strategies by promoting value adding products and services, improving the passenger's travel experience, and ensuring the profitability of concessionaires in a changing aviation market.