Note: this question is aimed more at international airports with large airline hubs, eg BA at Heathrow, SQ at Singapore, MH at KLIA, CX at HKG etc. rather than American airports which tend to segregate airlines into terminals.
My question is basically how gates are assigned, and by who. I assume it would be the appropriate department of the airport authority. But for those airlines which have large hub operations, eg CX occupy a lot of gates at HKIA at any one time, as is the case for SQ, would it not be easier just to give CX a block of gates and tell them to sort it out themselves. The reason I ask is that I notice the USA afternoon flights and the UK evening flights almost always depart from their preferred gates, making me wonder if CX plays a role in getting gate assignments for aircraft.
Any answers would be appreciated!