According to the EU Competition Policy Brief on the new state aid rules for a competitive aviation industry issued in February 2014, the regulation for the financial public subsidies of any art on the EU national or regional level for regional airports will be a considerably striker. The strategic aims of these new regulations, among other things, are to motivate and encourage the Member States (here: regional airports) to implement more efficient market stimulation measures, make airports work on cost efficient and profitable basis and establish transition periods for regional airports. In practice it means that public subsidies may be granted only to those regional airports that proved to have a sustainable and realistic business model that shall clearly demonstrate the durable financial stability. The authors took part in two air transportation initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and were lead partner in the EU Project Baltic. AirCargo.Net, which deployed a number of empirical measures in selected regional airports in the BSR. This paper presents success factors of sustainable business development models for the regional airports in the BSR based on cases studied during the project lifetime
This paper aims at conceptualising and assessing operational environment of small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in sustainable supply chains in regional context. The paper starts an attempt to explore how SMEs in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany from transport, logistics related value-added services and especially from the air freight sector collaborate, perform and develop from supply chain management perspective, and what crucial determinants for burgeoning business performance and sustainable strategy are effectively to be linked for the benefits of SMEs. Using a qualitative case study approach, the paper bears on empirical evidences of the project “Baltic.AirCargo.Net” financed by the European Regional Development Fund / European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument in the framework of the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013. The paper builds upon a qualitative research approach involving expert interviews, focus groups analysis and secondary data research based on relevant project documentation and field notes from project meetings and workshops. Findings of the case study from the German air cargo service providers are explored and discussed through key theoretical concepts pertaining to sustainable supply chains and logistics of SMEs. Based on the relevant scholarly work and results of empirical evidence and case studies, a conceptual model is designed with propositions and possible future directions for SMEs. The paper showcases empirical findings gathered from the practices of regional SMEs operating in the air cargo transport and logistics service field, thus expanding this poorly conceived research area. The research is based on direct information and insights from SMEs located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and highlights how SMEs under the given circumstances may streamline their development paths operationally, tactically and strategically. Insights obtained from this paper can be employed as critical tool among SMEs’ managers, strategy planners and policy decision-makers on how to utilize SMEs’ practices in the context of supply chains, logistics networks and emerging scope of globalisation and trade.