The briefing on duty free retail at airports

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

The briefing on connected aviation

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

Globally, duty free is a major boon for airports and retailers looking to squeeze out additional revenues from passengers. Increasing demand is leading to major retail expansion at airports, with hubs such as Dubai International (UAE) and Heathrow (UK) co-existing as huge shopping centres offering a wide selection of clothing and technology products to customers from around the world.

Nevertheless, cutting taxes doesn’t always seem to pay dividends for passengers. A recent study from finder-com revealed that, on average, duty free prices can actually work out approximately 17% more expensive at UK airports, with some products costing 150% more if bought just before a flight than online. If airports truly are becoming ‘the new high street’, it’s clear they will still need to face off competition from the web.

News in numbers


The total size committed to retail space across Dubai International Airport’s numerous concourses


Duty free spend per international passenger at Los Angeles International Airport in 2017 – the highest at a US airport for this year


Value of the global duty free retailing market by 2027, according to Coherent Market Insights


Asia-Pacific region’s share of global duty free and travel retail sales in 2017


Number of retail and catering outlets across the UK’s Heathrow Airport


Number of stores operated by Dufry, the leading travel retailer worldwide

In quotes

Jon Ostlers, CEO (UK) at

It is worth noting that duty free can offer exclusives and products that aren’t readily available elsewhere, so the best thing to do is to research before you buy. Smartphones have made this easier than ever and a quick check before you hand over the cash could stop you overspending by as much as £32 for bigger ticket items like Ray-Ban sunglasses.

A statement from retailer World Duty Free, following the report:

No retailer can promise that all its products will always be the cheapest in today’s fast-moving retail world and we do not make this claim, nor do we state that our products will always cheaper than those bought from online retailers. We are pleased to note that the research acknowledged that customers could find better prices on many items.

Top stories

The Falic family of Florida, owners of the ubiquitous chain of Duty Free Americas shops, funds a generous and controversial philanthropic empire in Israel that runs through the corridors of power and stretches deep into the occupied West Bank. An investigation by the Associated Press news agency has found that the family has donated at least $5.6m to settler organisations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the past decade, funding synagogues, schools and social services as well as far-right causes considered extreme even in Israel.

Source: Aljazeera

Ever Rich Duty Free hopes to prevent a million plastic straws a year heading to waste as it adopts environmentally-friendly paper straws across all of its F&B outlets. The move impacts cafes and restaurants at four airports operated by Ever Rich Duty Free as well as those at downtown locations.

Source: The Moodie Davitt Report

Lagardére Travel Retail has won a new duty free concession at Václav Havel Airport Prague, with 24 business units covering 4,372m2. The operator will bring a much wider offer tailored to individual passenger segments, new exclusive brands, stylish and modern shop design, digital sales elements, new sales channels, and expansion of the local range of products.

Source: Airport Business

Airports of Thailand Pcl (AOT) on Wednesday approved King Power Group’s $494 million bids for duty free retailing at its major airports over rival contenders, including a group of South Korea’s Lotte and Bangkok Airways Pcl. The hotly-contested auction had lured international bidders seeking to benefit from Thailand’s booming duty free industry on growing tourist numbers, and powered airport operator AOT’s revenue growth.

Source: Reuters

Indian tourists don’t have to convert the Indian rupee while shopping at Dubai duty free airports as the currency is now acceptable at all three terminals of Dubai International Airport and at Al Maktoum Airport. Nearly 90 million passengers passed through Dubai aiports last year. Of them, 12.2 million were Indians. Most of them came from the Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin.

Source: Gulf News




Emirates to introduce service between Auckland and Bali

Dubai-based airline Emirates is planning to launch a new daily service from Dubai to Auckland, New Zealand, through the island of Bali in Indonesia.

Starting from June 2018, the new service complements Emirates’ existing non-stop daily service between Dubai and Auckland and its daily A380 service between Dubai and Christchurch through Sydney. Emirates will offer a total of three daily services to New Zealand to global travellers.

The airline’s two existing daily services are currently operated by a Boeing 777 300-ER in a two-class configuration.

Emirates Airline president Sir Tim Clark said: “We are confident that our year-round service between Auckland and Bali will be well-received by our customers, not only in New Zealand and Indonesia, but also from our global network particularly from markets like the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.”

The new service is expected to provide better connections for London and other major European cities.

Welcoming Emirates’ announcement, Auckland Airport aeronautical commercial general manager Scott Tasker said that the new service will add more than 250,000 seats to the route.

Tasker added: “Bali continues to grow as a popular holiday destination for Kiwis, who can now fly there non-stop, year-round. Additionally, this new service provides an option for European travellers to stopover in Bali when flying to and from New Zealand.”

The new service is also set to provide 20t of cargo capacity between New Zealand, Bali and Dubai.

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