High ambition in the airport world
This compelling session explored three extraordinary projects from three vastly different companies determined to raise the consumer offer to a new level. It featured Noida International Airport Chief Operating Officer Kiran Jain, Airport Authority Hong Kong General Manager Retail & Advertising Alby Tsang and Qatar Duty Free Vice President Operations Thabet Musleh.
In a filmed interview, Tsang discussed how Airport Authority Hong Kong (HKIA) has been preparing not only for the recovery of travel but for long into the future of Hong Kong and the whole Greater Bay Area development. HKIA has renovated its flagship Terminal 1, built a third runway, is rebuilding Terminal 2 and progressing its profoundly ambitious ‘From City Airport to Airport City’. It also launched e-boarding gates, set up new multimedia zones and built the world’s longest airside bridge which connects one satellite concourse to the main terminal. Putting the pandemic to good use, HKIA refurbished its luxury retail zone which is home to 40 top-tier luxury brands with Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Hermès all opening their duplex stores in November.
Alby Tsang (talking to Martin Moodie): A new and exciting vision of what Hong Kong International Airport can become
Tsang said: “Besides developing our core capabilities in passenger and cargo traffic, our Airport City Vision envisages HKIA as not merely a city airport but as a destination for Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area (GBA). These past few years, our development has extended beyond the traditional functions of an airport. While we continue to operate our airports efficiently, we are expanding our functions from commercial and entertainment to exhibitions and many more. Our ultimate goal is to transform HKIA into a new landmark and become an economic growth engine for Hong Kong and GBA.”
Sky City is a key element of this vision. It is a mega-scale, 25-hectare commercial development centred around an exciting new commercial development called 11Skies. 11Skies aims to become Hong Kong’s largest retail complex for dining, shopping and entertainment. It will house over 800 shops, 150 dining concepts and 570,000sq ft of entertainment facilities.
The video interview outlined elements of the ambitious vision for the future of HKIA
Musleh gave an update on multiple exciting developments at Hamad International Airport, where at the time of the interview (conducted on the eve of The Trinity Forum) management were preparing for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (since kicked off) and putting the finishing touches to the dazzling new airport expansion.
A different kind of industry model is in place in Doha, all under the common ownership of the Qatar Airways Group, Musleh said. “We’re not thinking in a Trinity mindset, we’re thinking in a Quaternity mindset,” he commented. “We’re bringing world-first concepts not just in travel retail, but anywhere. Everybody is working towards delivering that experience, there’s no question of MAG, space, sales per sq m or minimums. It’s all about delivering that memorable experience and everything else comes as a result of that.”
Of the exciting plans for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Musleh said: “This is the first time in history that a travel retailer (Qatar Duty Free) is the official retailer for FIFA. We have 219 outlets across the stadiums, fan festivals and fan zones. It’s a new challenge for me and my team and there’s a lot to look forward to.”
A 'Quaternity' view of the travel retail industry as expressed by Thabet Musleh
The magnificent Hamad International Airport Expansion opened on 10 November, soon after The Trinity Forum (selected images above and below; a special report will follow)
Jain previewed plans for Noida International Airport, an exciting new airport project in Uttar Pradesh. According to Jain, the airport is specially placed to leverage new opportunities in India. She said: “Once Noida International Airport is completed, it will be the first time that India will have a dual-airport system [in one city, Delhi]. Indian Airlines’ fleet is expected to grow to over 2,300 aircraft by 2040. It’s clear that the opportunity is there, and we must strike now.”
Noida International Airport is a 100% subsidiary of Zürich Airport Ltd, which has just invested US$760 million into the project. Noida International Airport plans to open Terminal 1A by 2024. Once completed, the airport will serve 70 million passengers a year.
Domestic departures will feature 1,985sq m of retail and 1,898sq m of F&B. The international area will house 515sq m of duty free in departures and 714sq m in arrivals. The search for partners is beginning now, added Jain.
“Our goal is to marry Indian warmth with Swiss efficiency,” Jain explained. “When we look for partners, we’re looking for magic in terms of efficiency, ethos and beliefs. Opportunities are everywhere and there are no better opportunities than what India brings to the world. “This is an amazing new opportunity, and we are open to talking with you,” she said.
Kiran Jain: “When we look for partners, we’re looking for magic in terms of efficiency, ethos and beliefs”
The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 14 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit www.moodiedavittreport.com and to subscribe, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org