Year in Review

Images of the year

We present some of the defining images of an unprecedented year in aviation, travel and travel retail.

A message of solidarity

Lotte World Tower, home to Lotte Duty Free’s second-busiest store, sent out a series of spectacular illuminated messages of hope and support to the Chinese and Korean people as the COVID-19 crisis continued in February.

The messages, which lit up the giant structure, offered positive messages such as ‘Urachacha Korea’ (‘come on’ or ‘cheer up’) and ‘Himnara Wuhan’ (literally ‘add oil Wuhan’, a typical Korean expression of support and encouragement).

Luxottica Group honours Italian health workers

Italian eyewear specialist Luxottica Group made a moving tribute to health workers in Italy, which was one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, mid-crisis. The company illuminated the façade of its main plant in Argodo to honour the courage of the medical front liners fighting to curb the spread of the disease.

The company also donated hundreds of thousands of protective masks to Italian hospitals and public health institutions, as well as to its global health partners. In addition, Luxottica Group CEO Leonardo Del Vecchio donated €10 million and six respirators to the Fiera Milano hospital, through his charitable foundation.

Evoking a golden age

“Just like the golden days of travel in the 50s, we miss the sense of adventure travelling to a destination,” said Qatar Airways in a social media post in May that nostalgically evoked a bygone age. We’re confident that the appetite for travel in the future will be sustained. That human desire to journey, to experience foreign cuisines, cultures, history, heritage, tastes and traditions will never be sated. Qatar Airways played on these sentiments beautifully in this image.

China Duty Free Group steps up Hainan investment drive

“The Haikou International Duty Free Mall will become the largest single duty free store in the world and a wonderful travel destination, with a total area even exceeding CDF Mall in Sanya.”

Speaking to us in May, China Duty Free Group President Charles Chen spoke of how the retailer was (and is) accelerating its role in leading the travel retail industry into post-COVID-19 recovery with a series of major developments on Hainan island, led by the magnificent Haikou International Duty Free Mall (below), due to be completed in 2022.

Taking pride

At a time when it has so many pressing commercial issues to deal with, it was encouraging to see US travel retailer and restaurateur Paradies Lagardère taking time to celebrate Pride Month in June with a rich, inclusive and loving image, matched in words.

“In celebrating #PRIDE, we continually applaud and respect individuality, self-expression and equality, no matter how you identify,” the company said. “We know our support of the #LGBTQ #LGBTQIA community can always be more and are excited about our new Diversity and Inclusion Committee. We look forward to sharing with and learning from each other, knowing that all are welcome at our table and in our home.”

Capturing the moment in Cyprus

The excitement of the Cyprus Airports Duty Free team about reopening stores at Larnaca Airport was captured in one of our highlight images from June. So too were some of the measures put in place to protect staff and customers as travel to and from Cyprus begins again.

CTC-ARI Airports, which runs Cyprus Airports Duty Free, maintained its investment in a major renovation of 70,000sq ft of space at Larnaka Airport, transforming the departures retail environment.

Positive vibes in the Pacific

From Lagardère Travel Retail Pacific in early June came this welcome and joyous image, one of the first we brought readers of post-lockdown reopenings around the planet. Regional CEO Przemyslaw Lesniak wrote: “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have stayed positive and strong and focused on providing support to our teams impacted by the store closures. We are so pleased to be able to reopen a handful of our stores in Australia and New Zealand over the past week as test cases. This is a big moment!”

The picture features a Lagardère Travel Retail F&B unit at Christchurch Airport, gateway to The Moodie Davitt Report Founder & Chairman Martin Moodie’s home town.

Smarter by design

Leading airport commercial design consultancy SmartDesign Group offered its support to restaurant and retail businesses in North America amid the COVID-19 crisis – and did so with a welcome sense of humour.

The Vancouver-based design house led by Nick Baker generously offered free space planning for Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) members in the region during May and June as they prepared to reopen. But at a time when travellers were hesitant about the environment, it was vital to ensure that the traveller experience remained as positive as possible, even with social distancing. SmartDesign accomplished that with its own brand of verve and wit.

“A world-class terminal”

In one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in US aviation, Vantage Airport Group opened the Arrivals & Departures Hall at New York LaGuardia Airport Terminal B in June, part of a US$5.1 billion transformation.

The 850,000sq ft complex spans four levels, with the top floor home to a commercial district with 21 shops and restaurants featuring New York names alongside global brands. It also houses a strong Sense of Place, with architectural and design finishes inspired by New York’s neighbourhoods, and a collection of public art installations commissioned for the terminal through a partnership with the Public Art Fund.

‘The King’ goes digital

In July we reported on the unveiling of a new digital showcase at Sydney Airport, one of Australia’s premium outdoor media sites. oOh!media’s renowned 40 x 10m billboard, affectionately known as ‘The King’, went fully digital, enabling more advertisers to reach audiences via one of the largest digital airport advertising screens in the southern hemisphere. It will prove an invaluable piece of real estate for brands as business returns.

Waiting in line in Hainan

In September we brought readers a selection of images that were unusual in most places this year. They show that rarest and most welcome of 2020 travel retail sights – the queue. They were snapped by Mirko Wang, Founder & CEO of Jessica’s Secret. Where? In Hainan of course, where the CDF Mall in Haitang Bay, Sanya has been doing roaring business since China began its recovery in February, and later accelerated by the enhanced offshore duty free shopping policy introduced in July.

Lights, Camera (Obscura), Action as Nars dazzles in Haitang Bay

Bold beauty pop-ups have, in recent years, increasingly defined the travel retail beauty experience. This is particularly true at the CDF Mall in Haitang Bay on Hainan island, the location for many of travel retail’s most memorable activations this year. One unmissable animation came when Shiseido Travel Retail partnered with China Duty Free Group to launch for a NARS campaign at the Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Hainan in June.

The striking red, black and white pop-up was inspired by a ‘Camera Obscura,’ which is the earliest predecessor of a photographic camera. The graphic lines created an optical illusion, mimicking the camera obscura’s interior mechanism. The outpost also references Nars Founder François Nars’s own passion for photography.

Meeting his match?

Lindt Brand Ambassador Roger Federer eyes up a Lindt Lindor Truffle before testing his talent in chocolate production as Lindt officially opened its Home of Chocolate in Kilchberg, Switzerland, including the unveiling of a 9m chocolate fountain, in September.

Party falls flat in Hong Kong

In late November, Hong Kong International Airport was all dressed up for a celebratory party to welcome the first Air Travel Bubble guests from Singapore. Alas, the party had to be called off amid a spike in cases in Hong Kong and the balloons, like the bubble, had to be burst. Our images from the day symbolised a widespread feeling of deflation, which we hope can turn to joy in the early part of 2021.

Johnnie Walker takes its biggest stride yet

Johnnie Walker Black Label as you never saw it before. And never felt it. But the taste is exactly the same. Welcome to what brand owner Diageo in July called the world’s first 100% plastic-free, paper-based spirits bottle, made entirely from sustainably sourced wood. The new-look Johnnie Walker will be launched in 2021 and could be a huge hit in an eco-conscious sector such as travel retail.

A symbol in the sky

Qatar Airways showed its support for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October by ‘drawing’ a symbolic pink ribbon in the sky above Qatar. Flight QR9901 took a special route to create the ribbon image with its unique flight path being displayed in real-time by popular flight tracking sites.

The ‘Think Pink’ flight was exclusively operated by women – from the ground operations, technical, and dispatch teams to the flight deck and cabin crew.

The unusual flight path attracted the attention of many people who tracked the Qatar Airways flight throughout its duration and tuned in live to watch.

Historic moment in Berlin

Eight years after the original planned opening, Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt began operations on 31 October as the first flights from easyJet and Lufthansa landed at the new Terminal 1.

With the opening of the new airport serving the German capital, all flight operations are now concentrated at a single location. Schönefeld Airport became Berlin Brandenburg Terminal 5, while Berlin Tegel closed on 7 November.

Key commercial partners include Gebr Heinemann (pictured), Lagardère Travel Retail, BERetail and casualfood, among others.

Bacardi goes biodegradable

“A new solution to a problem for which our industry had no answer.” That was the claim of drinks company Bacardi as it unveiled a 100% biodegradable spirits bottle, one that swaps crude oil for a plant-based ‘wonder material’ that will remove 80 million plastic bottles – 3,000 tonnes of plastic – currently produced by Bacardi’s portfolio of brands every year.

As Bacardi Chief Marketing Officer John Burke said in November, if the health of the planet is the crisis of our time, it’s imperative for brands to deliver on a commitment to sustainability. “Some of the challenges we have can’t be fixed immediately. But as long as brands take sustainability seriously – and there is a concerted effort, which generates steady, incremental improvement – then I think we’re on the right side of history. Because we really do need brands to come together and change their tune. To make progress, we need a full symphony.” Like any symphony, this one may take a while to compose. But in outlining its commitment to and passion for sustainability, Bacardi is striking all the right notes.

JCDecaux unfurls a giant Wave at DXB

“Transformational.” “A first-of-its-kind in an airport environment.” “The ultimate digital innovation”. JCDecaux and Dubai Airports rolled out the superlatives as they celebrated a spectacular advertising platform at the Dubai gateway in November.

Lancôme spreads holiday magic

Lancôme Travel Retail Asia Pacific has been busy celebrating the end-year festive season with its first-ever strategic partnership with two key hotels in Hainan – The Westin Sanya Haitang Bay Resort and the InterContinental Sanya Haitang Bay Resort.

The Lancôme Holiday Magic 2020 campaign runs from 5 December to 15 January. The hotel alliances mark a milestone in the beauty brand’s efforts to stay at the forefront of the domestic travel trend and festive season in Hainan.

The campaign memorably merges online and offline activations, deploying different pre-store visit touchpoints throughout a traveller’s stay at the hotels.

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 289 | 21 December 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd).

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