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The official publication of ACI Asia-Pacific www.aci-asiapac.aero

In focus: Retail/F&B In the spotlight: Retail/F&B Airport Report: Brisbane

Issue 3, 2019 www.aci-apa.com

Special report: Customer service Plus: Regional & Industry news

Published by



Asia-Pacific Airports Issue 3, 2019

6 View from the top

16 Exciting times

Regional director, Patti Chau, reflects on ACI Asia-Pacific’s advocacy efforts at ICAO conferences and meetings, the developing Central Asia region, latest traffic trends and upcoming events.

8 Regional News


Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, talks to Joe Bates about the hugely ambitious development plans that tempted him back to the Queensland gateway.

22 New sensation!

Abu Dhabi Airports CEO, Bryan A snapshot of some of the biggest Thompson, tells us a little more news stories from across the region. about the type of F&B innovation we can expect to find in Abu Dhabi 10 ACI News International Airport’s new ACI Asia-Pacific reports on the latest Midfield Terminal. events, news and developments from across the busy region. 26 Back to basics Concentrating on the basics and keeping things simple can prove the catalyst for improved duty free revenues at airports, writes Paccaya Resource’s Andrew Ford. www.aci-apa.com



CONTENTS 30 What's in store?

38 Are you being served?

Joe Bates takes a closer look at the opening of some innovative new retail/F&B outlets across the region.

32 Today’s special Pragma Consulting's Alex Avery discusses how food and beverage is transforming airport retail.

36 Riyadh’s retail revamp

Asia-Pacific Airports reports on plans to enhance the retail offering at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia.

What are the prerequisites to delivering exceptional customer experience along all touchpoints of the passenger journey? Redwater Consulting Group’s Kateryna Hess investigates.

42 Light relief

Smart-tinting glass can have a hugely positive impact on the airport experience for passengers and potentially boost commercial revenues, writes David Yim.

44 Industry news News, views and reviews from ACI’s regional and global World Business Partners.

Asia-Pacific Airports (APA) www.aci-apa.com Editor Joe Bates joe@aci-apa.com +44 (0)1276 476582 Design, Layout & Production Mark Draper mark@aci-apa.com +44 (0)208 707 2743

APA Issue 3, 2019

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Asia-Pacific Airports (APA) is published four times a year for the members of ACI Asia-Pacific. The opinions and views expressed in APA are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect an ACI policy or position. The content of this publication is copyright of Aviation Media Ltd and should not be copied or stored without the express permission of the publisher.




VIEW FROM THE TOP Regional director, Patti Chau, reflects on ACI Asia-Pacific’s advocacy efforts at ICAO conferences and meetings, the developing Central Asia region, latest traffic trends and upcoming events.


key mission of ACI is to promote the collective interest of the world’s airports and the communities they serve and encourage professional excellence in airport operations and management, which we do on a regular basis at ICAO conferences and meetings.
 As you will be able to read more about on page 10 of this issue, in August, together with ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, we attended ICAO’s 56th Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region (56th DGCA Conference) meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal, where we represented the world’s airports, advocated on their behalf and updated ICAO member states on a number of ongoing ACI initiatives.

 ACI submitted four Discussion Papers covering ACI’s efforts to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities; ACI’s contributions to combatting against climate change; aerodrome certification with ACI’s APEX in Safety programme and updates on the Beijing Declaration; and the taxation of international air transport, submitted jointly with IATA. 

 You will be able to learn more about all of these in the ACI news section of this issue.


In July, I was invited to speak at the Routes Silk Road forum – the route development event that connects the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Central and Eastern APA Issue 3, 2019

Europe, the Middle East and Asia – held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

 The forum was attended by officials and leaders from across the aviation sector and it was a great opportunity to share more information with delegates about ACI, our goals and ambitions and, of course, the many initiatives and services designed to help the growth and development of the region’s airports.
 Establishing new relationships with airports in Central Asia, and building upon our existing ones, remains a key goal of ACI. I took the opportunity to encourage our airline partners in Central Asia to actively engage with their industry counterparts to strengthen existing services and develop new international routes for the benefit of the travelling public and the aviation industry at large. This is important as ACI’s long-term traffic forecasts predict that emerging and developing economies will account for more than 60% of all passenger traffic by 2040. And in particular, China, India and Central Asia have huge growth potential.


During my travels around the world this year I was often been asked about the political protests in Hong Kong and whether I was concerned at all about the situation, which at its height, led to several days of disruption at Hong Kong International Airport. The honest answer is that there were a few difficult days, but thanks to our colleagues at Hong Kong International Airport, the disruption was soon over. Indeed, HKIA has introduced new access control measures to minimise the impact on the airport and has worked closely with the community to ensure the return of normal operations.



Asia-Pacific airports accounted for three of the top five gateways on the planet for passenger traffic in 2018 as well as three of the five fastest growing major airports, according to the latest traffic figures from ACI World.

 ACI’s World Airport Traffic Report reveals that airports handled 8.8 billion passengers in 2018 (+6.4%) and that the top five airports for passenger traffic were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL), Beijing Capital (PEK), Dubai International (DXB), Los Angeles (LAX) and Tokyo Haneda (HND).

 While Bengaluru-Kempegowda (BLR) and Hyderabad-Rajiv Gandhi (HYD) in India and Jinan–Yaoqiang (TNA) in China were ranked among the top five fastest growing airports handling more than 15mppa based on annual increases of 29.1%, 21.9% and 16% respectively.

 Twelve of the fastest-growing top 30 airports in the world in 2018 were located in either China or India. Indeed, India’s move towards a more liberalised aviation market and the nation’s strengthening economic fundamentals have helped it become one of the fastest-growing markets with its traffic increasing rapidly in a relatively short time.


The second annual Customer Experience Global Summit was held in balmy Bali, Indonesia, on

September 2-5. Organised by ACI World, hosted by Angkasa Pura I (Persero) (API), and guided by the theme of ‘One airport community, many passenger journeys’, the event saw over 370 airports members, World Business Partners and guests from across the globe coming together to deliberate on our airport passengers’ customer experience. The Summit also included a Gala Dinner, where the 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award winners and newly accredited airports were celebrated among their peers.


Each year, the Regional Office endeavours to organise tours for World Business Partners (WBP) to airports with up and coming expansion and development plans, creating a platform where airport executives can meet WBPs in a more intimate setting. 

 This year, the annual WBP Airport Tour, graciously hosted by Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), took place in Vietnam on September 17-19. A group of 12 participants representing 10 companies visited Tan Son Nhat (SGN), Cam Ranh (CXR), and Noi Bai (HAN) international airports. During the tour, delegates also got to see and experience first-hand some of the newly expanded facilities in the respective terminals. ACV also gave delegates a sneak peek into all three airports’ exciting expansion plans and master planning works in progress to cope with growth, which translate into collaboration opportunities down the road.


As we enter the last quarter of 2019, we are excited to present more great networking opportunities for you at two of ACI’s longest established and most popular events. 

 First up is The Trinity Forum, one of our flagship events on airport commercial revenues, which will be held in Doha, Qatar, for the first time on October 30-31. 

 Then an eventful year effectively comes to a close a month later when Abu Dhabi Airports hosts Airport Exchange on November 25-27. I hope you will join us at both of these APA important events! www.aci-apa.com


Our position is clear. ACI Asia-Pacific has expressed our strong condemnation on the recent disruption to operations at HKIA, an ACI member airport and one of the region’s key hubs, which have deprived passengers the right to travel. The aviation industry is a close-knit community and together we stand firm and united in bringing people together by offering a network of safe and secure airports for the travelling public. 

 We want to point out that measures undertaken to ensure the safety and security of passengers and airport employees are subject to each local authority’s jurisdiction and ACI stands in solidarity with our colleagues at all affected airports.




SECTION REGIONAL TITLE NEWS ON TOP OF THE WORLD Indonesian airports celebrate their success in ACI’s annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards during the ACI Customer Experience Global Summit in Bali in early September. The ceremony recognised the airports from across the world that excelled in the delivery of outstanding customer service throughout 2018. And once again ACI's Asia-Pacific located gateways were front and centre in the awards, with Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport becoming the first airport to win both an ASQ Arrivals and Departures award, and China, India and Indonesia all boasting multiple award winners. Speaking at the ceremony, ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, enthused: “The ASQ Awards represent the highest possible customer

experience accolade for airport operators around the world. In an increasingly competitive environment, these airports have recognised that delivering stellar customer experience is an important business tool. “Tonight, amongst global peers, we celebrate the commitment of airports worldwide to meeting and exceeding the evolving needs of customers under one airport community.” ACI’s ASQ programme provides airports with a 360-degree view of customer experience management with a unique suite of solutions. ACI helps close to 400 airports worldwide to manage and deliver the best experience for their customers, based on proven expertise in airport operations, marketing research and customer experience management and delivery.

DXB MAINTAINS STATUS AS WORLD’S BUSIEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Despite the enforced 45-day closure of one of its two runways for refurbishment work, Dubai International Airport (DXB) welcomed 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019 to maintain its position as the world’s busiest international airport by traffic volumes. The closure of its southern runway meant that passenger traffic at the airport was actually 5.6% down on the same period a year ago, but DXB’s loss was Dubai World Central’s gain as most flights were reallocated to DWC during the rehabilitation project and the switch resulted in its passenger volumes soaring by 14.1%. Dubai Airports CEO, Paul Griffiths, described the first half of 2019 as “fast paced and action packed”, noting that it began with the launch of the dynamic new DXB brand and included installing the Middle East’s largest solar electricity system on the roof of Terminal 2. APA Issue 3, 2019




BEIJING DAXING OPENS FOR BUSINESS The world’s newest major airport, Beijing Daxing, opened for business on September 25 as China marked another major milestone in the modernisation and expansion of its aviation infrastructure. The new $12.9 billion gateway, designed in the shape of a starfish with five connected concourses, is one of the key developments in the modernisation and expansion of its airport infrastructure as China prepares to replace the US as the largest aviation market on the planet by as early as 2022. Located 46 kilometres south of Beijing’s Tian’anmen Square, the Zaha Hadid designed

airport took five years to build and will initially boast a single 700,000sqm terminal and four runways capable of accommodating up to 45 million passengers per annum. However, this figure will rise to 72 million when fully open in 2025 and, with future phased expansion, it is expected to be capable of handling in excess of 100 million passengers annually by 2040. Its opening means that Beijing’s two airports (Daxing and Capital) will be equipped to accommodate 170 million annual passengers by 2025.

SYDNEY UNVEILS NEW ‘FAREWELL POINT’ FOR PASSENGERS Sydney Airport has unveiled a new departures experience at the T1 International terminal including a refreshed farewell point for travellers and their family and friends. Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, who launched the new space in the company of New South Wales’ Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, said: “This is one of the most tagged social spots in Sydney and draws a huge selfie crowd. The upgrade has turned the experience into something special for travellers and we’re already seeing it feature heavily on Instagram and other social channels, which is really positive and a great advertisement for Sydney.” www.aci-apa.com




Regional update ACI Asia-Pacific reports on the latest events, news and developments from across the busy region.

ACI HAS STRONG PRESENCE AT 56th DGCA CONFERENCE An ACI delegation spearheaded by ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, and ACI Asia-Pacific’s regional director, Patti Chau, and deputy director, Ada Tse, attended ICAO’s recent Conference of Directors General of Civil Aviation, Asia and Pacific Region (56th DGCA Conference) in Kathmandu, Nepal. This year’s theme was ‘Harmonising Efforts to Meet the Capacity Constraints’, and the topic was addressed directly by ACI World’s Gittens during a panel discussion in which she stated that “efficiency and co-ordination” are key to addressing AsiaPacific’s capacity crunch. She elaborated on the three necessary pillars of improving capacity: using what we have efficiently, protecting the use of what we have, and developing more when necessary. She also underlined the importance of safeguarding the socio-economic benefits that aviation provides to the region at large. To advocate airports’ position and ACI’s initiatives to the ICAO States, ACI also submitted four Discussion Papers to the DGCA during the course of the event. APA Issue 3, 2019

One paper covered ACI’s efforts to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, emphasising the important role airports play in facilitating the travel requirements of passengers with disabilities, a group that is growing in size due to the ageing global population and the increasing affordability of air travel. The paper also highlighted ACI’s recently published Airports & Persons with Disabilities Handbook which provides guidance to airports including, but not limited to, innovative solutions to FIDS, mobile apps and easier access to airport facilities and toilets. This is in line with the resolution adopted at the ACI World Annual General Assembly in April, and States at the DGCA were invited to take note of these efforts which require awareness and collaboration by all stakeholders. A second paper covered the organisation’s contributions to combat climate change. The paper highlighted and noted the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in continued on page 14

October 30-31 The Trinity Forum Doha, Qatar

November 25-27 ACI Airport Exchange Abu Dhabi, UAE


March 24-26 ACI Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


April 21-23 ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly, Conference & Exhibition Nara, Japan


Seow Hiang Lee* (Changi Airport Group Pte Ltd, Singapore)


Emmanuel Menanteau* (Cambodia Airports, Cambodia)


Kjeld Binger* (Airport International Group, Jordan) Fred Lam* (Airport Authority Hong Kong, Hong Kong, SAR)


Sheikh Aimen bin Ahmed Al Hosni* (Oman Airports Management Company, Oman)


Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad Abdul Majid** (GMR Airports Limited, India)


Mohamed Yousif Al-Binfalah (Bahrain Airport Company SPC, Bahrain) Badr Mohammed Al-Meer (Hamad International Airport, Qatar) HE Ali Salim Al Midfa (Sharjah Airport Authority, UAE) Geoff Culbert* (Sydney Airport, Australia) Faiz Khan (Fiji Airports, Fiji)

SGK Kishore (GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited, Hyderabad, India) Bon Hwan Koo (Incheon International Airport Corporation, South Korea) Xue Song Liu* (Beijing Capital International Airport Co Ltd, China) ACK Nair (Cochin International Airport Limited, India) Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin (Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, Malaysia) Yun Qin (Shanghai Airport Authority, China) Chang-Wan Son (Korea Airports Corporation, South Korea)

Akihiko Tamura (Narita International Airport Corporation, Japan) Ming-Teh Wang (Taoyuan International Airport Corporation Ltd, Chinese Taipei) Kejian Zhang (Guangdong Airport Authority, China)


Greg Fordham (Airbiz Aviation Strategies Pty Ltd, Australia)


Bryan Thompson (Abu Dhabi Airports, UAE) Yoshiyuki Yamaya (Kansai Airports, Japan)

* WGB member **Regional Advisor on WGB

The ACI Asia-Pacific region represents 113 members operating 600 airports in 49 countries and territories in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. www.aci-apa.com



EVENTS 2019 2019





October 2018, and the imminent entry into force of the Paris Agreement. The paper also updated the conference on ACI’s initiatives in climate change mitigation, namely the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme and the promotion of Airport Carbon and Emissions Reporting Tool (ACERT). Delegates were invited to encourage aerodrome operators to adopt ACERT and include Airport Carbon Accreditation in their respective plans to reduce carbon emissions in aviation. ACI’s third paper was on promoting aerodrome certification with ACI’s APEX in Safety initiative and updates on the Beijing Declaration. It included input from Bhutan, Vanuatu and ACI about the efforts States and airports were making to enhance aerodrome safety, particularly with regards to achieving the Beijing Declaration target of having all international aerodromes certified by 2020. These efforts we revealed, mainly consisted of organising peer reviews of aerodrome safety between airports under the ACI APEX in Safety programme, and delivering relevant training programmes – some of them jointly organised by ACI and ICAO – such as those on

aerodrome certification and Global Reporting Format (GRF) for Runway Surface Conditions. The paper also updated the conference on ACI’s efforts in safety data collection, participation in RASG-APAC, the implementation of A-CDM and the sharing of training resources with States in response to the Beijing Declaration. Besides noting the various collaborative efforts to the conference, States were also urged to consider APEX in Safety as part of their National Aviation Safety Plan as a means of improving compliance to safety enhancement initiatives and requirements. The fourth paper submitted jointly with IATA, was about the taxation of international air transport. The paper called for attention to the existing issues of taxation on air transport and urged the aviation industry to engage more in the dialogue with Treasury Departments/Ministries of Finance and taxation authorities to enhance State awareness of ICAO’s Policies on Taxation in the Field of International Air Transport (Doc 8632) and to identify ways to establish appropriate analyses on the costs and benefits of taxation to maximise States’ economic benefits of aviation.


The first APEX in Security Review in Australia was conducted at Brisbane Airport on May 27-31. The review team comprised of security experts from Singapore Changi, Dublin and Sydney airports and staff from the Regional APA Issue 3, 2019

Office and ACI World. After a week long review and discussions, a number of best practice recommendations were made by the team to help enhance security measures at Brisbane Airport.





We would like to bring your attention to three publications – the ACI Runway Safety Handbook; the ACI Asia-Pacific Green Airports Recognition 2019 report; and the ACI AsiaPacific 2018 Economic Review. Runway safety is a significant operational challenge and a top priority for airports, which is why ACI is particularly proud to unveil an Arabic version of ACI Runway Safety Handbook. Aimed at airport operators, its contents is distilled from a wide range of guidance material from civil aviation authorities across the globe, ACI member airports’ operational safety procedures, ICAO guidelines and other international aviation organisations’ publications pertaining to runway safety. The ACI Asia-Pacific Green Airports Recognition 2019 publication highlights projects at 19 different member airports and reveals how each has contributed to the respective airport’s sustainable growth and development. Benefits include becoming more energy efficient, making better use of resources, adopting clean, environmentally friendly technology and empowering the communities they serve. The Green Airports Recognition programme aims to promote best practices that minimise aviation’s impact on the environment by recognising some of the outstanding environmental accomplishments by airports in our region.

The fourth edition of the annual economic publication, the ACI Asia-Pacific 2018 Economic Review, affirms our commitment to airport economics matters through regionalised analysis and research, and advocacy on policy issues. Compiled under the direction of the Regional Economics Committee, this edition provides regional insights on the economic and business environment, identifies trends in air traffic, highlights major airport developments projects and privatisation trends, and examines key performance indicators on airport economics. It also includes a focus on ‘Airport Networks’, updating members on the latest developments on this topic, and discussions on how airports are meeting the capacity challenge. If you wish to learn more about the Review, or any of other publications, please contact us at communications@aci-asiapac.aero.


As part of the industry’s efforts to enhance and strengthen regional aviation cyber-resilience, ACI Asia-Pacific was invited to speak at an Aviation Cyber Resilience Workshop organised by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 13. The workshop – the third in a series of four aimed at bringing together regional stakeholders to raise awareness on cyber resilience and share best practices in addressing cyber threats – was attended by over 60 participants from airports, airlines and APA Issue 3, 2019

airport service providers across the region. The panel discussion that the Regional Office took part in explored how different regional parties, including State regulators, airlines, airports, and industry associations, can better collaborate and leverage resources to strengthen capabilities and resilience on cybersecurity. A number of ACI’s initiatives on cybersecurity were highlighted in the discussion, such as the handbook on cybersecurity for airport executives, the online cyber self-assessment tool, and various training courses.





Exciting times Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, talks to Joe Bates about the hugely ambitious development plans that tempted him back to the Queensland gateway.


t says something about the appeal of Brisbane Airport and its ambitious development plans that CEO, Gert-Jan de Graaff, admits that he knew he would be leaving New York and heading to Australia the moment he was offered the job. Dutchman de Graaff was the CEO of New York-JFK’s Terminal 4 operator, JFKIAT, which during his four-year tenure completed a $1 billion upgrade of its facilities and saw passenger numbers rise to 24 million annually. Arguably, JFKIAT’s success showed the US just how effective public-private partnership (PPP or P3) projects can be at the nation’s gateways. But, for de Graaff, the opportunity to help shape the future of Brisbane Airport (BNE) and oversee one of the most imaginative airport land development plans in the world, proved irresistible. It also helped that he had spent five years at BNE earlier in his career and therefore APA Issue 3, 2019

had the inside track about the airport’s ambitions and already knew and loved the city of Brisbane, the state of Queensland and Australia. “The opportunity to be an airport CEO for the first time and lead Brisbane Airport at such a critical and exciting time in its history was too good to ignore,” enthuses de Graaff. “The airport is the third busiest in Australia for passenger traffic and its potential is exceptional, particularly in international markets. “I also knew that I would be spearheading a fantastic organisation [Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC)], and an airport that is growing, developing and is very ambitious in a country where aviation is essential for its economic and social development, and therefore is appreciated by the people. “It’s a great place to be and, I must also add that the weather isn’t too bad either, particularly for someone who had



experienced a few New York winters when temperatures can drop to minus 20 degrees! If the winter temperatures here drop to 20ºC, it is considered chilly!”


Back in the fold for just over a year, de Graaff says that he is enjoying life in Brisbane and watching the progress of the most high-profile piece of new infrastructure currently under development at BNE, its new A$1.3 billion parallel runway. Expected to significantly enhance the airport’s airfield capacity when it opens in mid-2020, contractors have literally just finished laying more than 100,000 tonnes of asphalt on the 3.3-kilometre long runway surface allowing for work to start on the installation of new ground lighting and navigational aids. When open, it will raise BNE’s airfield capacity from 50 to up to 110 aircraft movements per hour and allow the airport to become a better neighbour to its surrounding communities by ensuring that all night flights operate over water into Moreton Bay, well away from any residential areas.

A record 23.6 million passengers (+1.7%) passed through BNE in 2018, and with forecasts predicting that this total could more than double to 51.5 million by FY2039/40, BAC is more than aware of the need to ensure that the gateway has the capacity to meet future demand. Indeed, BAC’s Brisbane Airport Master Plan 2020 considers the proposed development of BNE to 2040 and outlines a handful of projects for potential development between 2020 and 2040. They include proposals for the expansion of the existing Domestic and International terminals and the identification of areas for a new terminal to be built subject to demand. In the longer-term, so effectively more than 20 years from becoming reality, BAC has outlined plans for the addition of new Western and Northern terminals. “The common theme of the Brisbane Airport 2020 Master Plan is one of planning for growth,” says de Graaff. “Growth in demand for both more frequent flights and for new destinations, growth in the businesses that call the airport their home and growth in the important freight and cargo services, both imports and exports that connect businesses across Queensland to Australia and the world. www.aci-apa.com


“It’s a win-win scenario for everybody,” enthuses de Graaff. “It will effectively make us one of the most efficient and best prepared airports in Australia for future growth at the same time as making us more noise efficient, so lessening our impact on the local community.” BAC estimates that in its first year of operation, the new runway will create an additional A$1 billion in direct economic contribution to the Queensland economy, with indirect benefits estimated to be worth more than A$545 million. And it gets better as forecasts indicate that these figures will rise over the next 20 years to an estimated A$2.1 billion, with the indirect contribution growing to an estimated A$1.1 billion.




AIRPORT REPORT: BRISBANE “With the addition of some gates, we have the capacity within the footprint of our existing International and Domestic terminals to cope with growth for at least the next five years. However, between 2025 and 2030, we will need to decide where we are going to build the next terminal or major expansion of the airport. “We know this, are prepared for it and indeed have provisional plans in place to ensure that capacity constraints never become an issue at Brisbane Airport.”


With 2,700 hectares of land at its disposal, BAC is certainly well positioned to develop a number of commercial facilities across the airport site, and de Graaff has no hesitation in stating that creating an airport city or aerotropolis centred around Brisbane Airport is a key goal. The plan is to create a number of precincts or nine neighbourhoods in five zones across the airport site dedicated to a range of different business activities. The neighbourhoods include Skygate (commercial, retail and leisure hub); Airport Central (a 24-hour service centre and home to the BNE Auto Mall); Airport North (logistics and aviation hub); Export Park (warehousing and distribution); Da Vinci (training and education centres); Airport Industrial Park (Warehouse, storage and distribution facilities); and Airport East (maintenance and associated businesses). APA Issue 3, 2019

Skygate – which will have its own golf course, factory outlets, supermarkets and outdoor life focused facilities as well BAC’s HQ and other offices – and Airport Central, with its planned new BNE Auto Mall, are arguably the most attention grabbing new additions. The opening of the A$18 million Skygate Home & Life centre in the former is said to have added a new dimension to the precinct’s retail offerings by introducing a range of furniture and homeware stores to the commercial mix, that now includes DFO Brisbane, Queensland’s only 24/7 Woolworth’s and more than 160 speciality outlets. While de Graaff describes the BNE Auto Mall as a first of its kind development that will include a test track where, among other things, people can try out new cars before buying them from local dealerships. “The airport’s location 14 kilometres from Brisbane’s Central Business District makes us an attractive proposition for a number of businesses, particularly those that need a lot of space, like factory outlets,” enthuses de Graaff, who notes that BAC’s plans complement what is being offered elsewhere and therefore have the 100% backing of Brisbane City Council.


The most recent traffic figures for a 12-month period show that passenger numbers increased by 1.5% to a record 23.8 million passengers for the year ending July 31, 2019.




International passenger numbers increased by 4.5% to 6.2 million during the year while domestic throughput, in line with most other Australian airports, experienced a marginal 0.5% rise to 17.6 million. De Graaff attributes the continued upturn in traffic to the overall strength of the Australian economy, a number of new routes – which, in some cases, have been driven by the introduction of new aircraft into the market – and the enduring appeal of Queensland and Australia to international tourists. At the last count, BNE was served by 34 airlines operating flights to 85 destinations across the world. The top five airlines at BNE in terms of market share are Virgin Australia (31%), Qantas (25%), Jetstar (13%), QantasLink (10%) and Tigerair (5%). Perhaps not surprisingly, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Townsville and Perth are BNE’s busiest domestic routes, while the top five foreign nationalities in terms of passenger numbers are New Zealand, China (including Hong Kong), the UK, US and Taiwan. New airlines launching services over the last 18 months have included Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), Royal Brunei (Brunei), Samoa Airways (Apia) and Thai AirAsia X (Bangkok), while others such as China Airlines, Singapore Airlines and EVA Air continue to raise capacity on existing routes through up-gauging aircraft or increasing frequencies. And de Graaff enthusiastically reminds me that they will soon be joined by new non-stop Qantas routes to Chicago and San Francisco in the US, services he admits have only been made possible by the new generation of longer range, smaller capacity aircraft, such as the B787-9 Dreamliner. “The introduction of direct flights into Chicago, the mid-west USA, and San Francisco, the cultural, commercial, and financial centre of Northern California, is a game-changer for Brisbane, opening the city and state up to a large underserved US market,” he enthuses. “At 16 hours and 20 minutes, the BrisbaneChicago route will be the fourth longest non-stop service in the world and has been made possible, and economically viable, APA Issue 3, 2019

by new aircraft technology which makes it possible for smaller aircraft to fly longer distances. “These aircraft are very good for Australia as it means that routes that were not profitable in the past, or simply too costly for airlines to fly, are now possible. Next April they will be bringing us Chicago and San Francisco and I am sure that more destinations in China and across Asia that are currently considered impractical will follow in time.” He also believes that the construction of BNE’s new runway has helped attract the new services and they will be the first of many new airlines, routes and destinations that will grow from the decision to enhance its airfield capacity. The success BNE has enjoyed in expanding its international route network has led to it winning a number of accolades over the years, most recently the prestigious Routes Asia 2019 Marketing Award. De Graaff is proud of the Routes award, viewing it as “acknowledgment of the fact that we speak the same language as the airlines”, but is quick to point out that BNE doesn’t act alone in its route development efforts, noting that it works in collaboration with a number of partners that include the city of Brisbane and Queensland State Government. “When we talk to the airlines, we bring our local destination marketing organisation, Brisbane Marketing, and Tourism and Events Queensland to the table with us,” he explains. “We operate as Team Brisbane and, I think that this approach really resonates with the airlines as they know that if they decide to invest in flying here there is a number of organisations behind us that will do everything they can to make the route a success.” Arguably the strongest evidence of the value of a new route to the region is provided in an independent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which claims that each international flight arriving into Brisbane generates an estimated A$620,000 in expenditure, the bulk of which is spent in Queensland.





BAC has certainly done a top job to date in terms of its commitment to protecting the environment and the sustainable development of Brisbane Airport. As you would expect, a number of environmental clauses have been factored into the constriction and development of BNE’s runway as BAC is determined to maintain its reputation for being one of the most environmentally friendly airports in Australia, the region, and the world. Indeed, its ‘green’ initiatives are so numerous it is impossible to list them all in this article. They include reaching and maintaining Level 3 ‘Optimisation’ status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme; the creation of a Biodiversity Zone on a 285-hectare area of the airport site; operating Australia’s largest fleet of electronic buses; and the installation of more than 22,000 solar panels across the airport site that will eventually generate more than nine million kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year. De Graaff also assures that sustainability has been ingrained into the airport design process with the creation of Ecologically Sustainable Development guidelines for all developments as well as incorporating sustainability principles into the retail upgrade development planned for the Domestic Terminal. BAC promises that its Biodiversity Zone, which occupies 10% of the airport’s landmass, will continue to be actively

managed to protect significant species and habitats and that it will continue to evaluate the broader impact of BNE on the surrounding environment as it develops in the future. Considerations, it says, will include the amount of energy and water consumed, the amount of waste and carbon generated and the quality of the surrounding environment.


What can Brisbane ultimately achieve as an airport? “I think we can become the second busiest and best airport in Australia and hopefully the one that everyone is talking about because of the quality of service and memorable experience we offer passengers and the efficient and effective processes we provide for the airlines,” says de Graaff. “We are better positioned to grow than any other airport in the country because we have a lot of land available to develop the airport and a master plan in place to make it happen.” Incidentally, he believes that Melbourne will become Australia’s busiest airport, overtaking the capacity constrained SYD, sometime in the next 15 to 20 years. The capital of Victoria state is set to overtake Sydney as the country’s biggest city in 2026. So, by 2040, MEL and BNE could be Australia’s No.1 and No.2 airports for passenger traffic. You heard it here, first! www.aci-apa.com





New sensation!

Abu Dhabi Airports CEO, Bryan Thompson, tells us a little more about the type of F&B innovation we can expect to find in Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal.


he new Midfield Terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport is the culmination of decades of innovation in aviation. Abu Dhabi Airports has invested heavily in ensuring that the new terminal offers the latest in technology and passenger amenities, spanning security processes, immigration, baggage handling, leisure facilities and entertainment. In particular, we have placed an emphasis on investing in technology in the food and beverage offerings found in the new terminal as we want to take airport F&B to a new level and reflect the changing expectations of modern-day consumers. Over the past decade, consumer perceptions regarding what they eat and APA Issue 3, 2019

drink at the airport have significantly altered. Whilst people were previously satisfied with an overpriced burger or processed sandwich which they had to queue for, that is no longer the case. Passengers have come to expect tailored, meaningful food experiences that cater to a wide range of dietary requirements and culinary tastes, and are delivered through a fast, easy process. To some extent, airports have been playing catch-up in the F&B sector with this vastly altered consumer expectation regarding what they eat and drink when inside an airport. However, the cost of change to F&B outlets can no longer be ignored: non-aviation related income at airports continue to make significant contributions toward growing




revenue, and with over 50% of passengers using F&B outlets whilst at an airport, the numbers game offers a distinct argument for change. With the new Midfield Terminal, Abu Dhabi International Airport has had a significant opportunity to transform its food and beverage offering and create more meaningful and attractive experiences for consumers, in line with its status as a leading aviation hub. Part of the ongoing challenge to satisfy consumers’ needs when they arrive at an airport, looking for catering options, is providing them with high-quality cuisine that satisfies their needs. Consumers are less likely to excuse poorer quality culinary offerings and are often looking for a substantial meal ahead of boarding their flight. This is an issue for passengers transferring through an airport, alongside those departing from it. Airport culinary offerings can no longer just be a generic offering from a well-known brand: rather, they have to present an attractive narrative to the customer. They have to present the history of a recipe, its importance in culture, and handle the preparation and presentation of that meal in a careful, measured way. Whilst logistically, this may seem like an operational nightmare, consumers are calling out for the crafting of great culinary moments, and the financial incentive remains potent for implementation. One of the four concept pillars which we have planned the food and beverage

offerings of the Midfield Terminal around is ‘personalisation’. At Abu Dhabi Airports, we want to ensure our brands resonate with passengers and diners alike, offering them a memorable, almost tailored, dining experience. Throughout every experience we also strive to reflect Abu Dhabi’s unique brand of Arabian hospitality. To enable such developments, Abu Dhabi Airports has been careful in its supplier selection and works with each one to ensure that the brands found in the terminal are ones that appeal to the increasingly complex tastes of today's travellers. We have worked hard to move away from more traditional models of generic brands which offer standardised products, and instead offer unique experiences within the new Midfield Terminal, ones that are personalised and tailored. In addition to offering personalised culinary options for passengers passing through the airport, we are also seeking to provide experiential dining. Food and beverage customers are no longer simply seeking a quick meal ahead of their flight; rather, they are looking to enjoy a unique dining experience. In Abu Dhabi, this will mean welcoming celebrity chef inspired outlets to the Midfield Terminal to provide a host of innovative and memorable culinary experiences. What could be better than enjoying cuisine inspired by some of the globe’s most famous chefs before boarding your flight? www.aci-apa.com




Innovations in airport dining concepts also have to take into account the ability to provide casual culinary experiences. After all, most passengers aren't looking for a formal sit-down meal ahead of their flights; rather, they want to be able to relax and feel they are in a familiar space ahead of their travels. Dining environments have to cater to a range of needs, be that an impromptu business meeting or playtime with kids. With the innovations at the new Midfield Terminal, passengers are sure to feel that their dining experiences are both familiar and outstanding. A final example of recent changes in airport dining concepts is the need to provide customised culinary choices to passengers. Generic meals are ones that the customer can only interact with through consumption, and passengers today want to feel that they have had the opportunity to provide significant inputs into the design of their meals. The F&B experiences at the new Midfield Terminal will ensure that passengers feel involved with the design of their food and can interact with the end product, ahead of its creation. At Abu Dhabi Airports, we are seeking to provide culinary solutions that are not only meaningful, but are orientated toward the consumer’s needs. Customers want good food, and they also want to be able to locate it quickly, without having to worry about missing a flight or trekking to a distant corner of a terminal. Being able to ensure that consumers can access good food at the right time is an important aspect of designing culinary experiences in airports. One way in which Abu Dhabi International Airport is seeking to deliver further APA Issue 3, 2019

personalisation and interaction with its cuisine is through offering passengers the ability to tailor their meals from the comfort of their smartphones. Consumers are changing in the way that they interact with an airport environment. Passengers are constantly online at an airport, from when they arrive at the check-in desk, to when they select ‘airplane’ mode on the runway. In between those moments, the mobile is key for the passenger in planning their journey: from finding their check-in desk, scanning their boarding pass, checking security requirements, and finding their gate to assessing the F&B options in the airport. This is particularly the case for younger, millennial passengers, who form an increasingly large share of the air travel market. The latest innovations in airport food and beverage offerings strive to deliver unique culinary spaces that ensure consumers are able to view, consider and purchase meals in a new and efficient way. Dining options at airports will continue to have to grapple with a lack-lustre legacy, but with the new Midfield Terminal, we are challenging this legacy and delivering unique, personalised and easily accessible food and beverage options that will surprise and delight every passenger. Great experiences require re-invention, and the current airport food and beverage model is rife with limitations. From its very design through to its construction and fit out, the Midfield Terminal is a forward-looking re-imagination of what an airport terminal should be and will be – and its food and APA beverage offering is no exception.




Back to basics

Concentrating on the basics and keeping things simple can prove the catalyst for improved duty free revenues at airports, writes Paccaya Resource’s Andrew Ford.


ike so many of us, I often read articles promoting the virtues of improved retail ideas and increased non-aeronautical revenues, but where are the articles highlighting the real grass roots benefits of simple and improved retail standards in airport duty free shops? Of course, at this or that conference, or in article after article we are all bombarded with target scenarios, including expanding the commercial environment with 100% passenger penetration, improving store design, sense of place, brand selection etc, etc. But while these are all important initiatives, where are the articles highlighting, explaining and promoting the fundamental need for simple and sensible retailing standards? After all, without these, then none of the scenarios touched on above – or many I have listed later – are likely to have any significant impact. All of which is potentially problematic considering that the airport duty free APA Issue 3, 2019

business globally accounts for approximately 30% of the channel’s non-aeronautical revenues, which in turn account for an average of 40% of total airport revenues – excluding North America where car parking takes the lion’s share. Considering this, it is very important to get the airport duty free business right, although much depends on the airport and concessionaire working hand-in-hand to maximise retail spends by adapting to different passenger profiles and numbers – and ensuring all partners focus on improving spend per passenger (SPP). In fact, spend per passenger should be the key base measure point for all airport commercial managers, even though other yardsticks such as productivity per square metre, per FTE (full time employee) and others still remain very important. Spend per passenger also needs to be specific and broken down by key nationality and product category (for example, fragrances/cosmetics; wines/




spirits; tobacco; fashion; watches and jewellery; sunglasses/accessories; foodstuffs; and destination products). While this is all hard work, the rewards are great, and the good news is that determining spend per passenger levels is not rocket science. All it requires is a simple division of the duty free concession’s total sales value by the number of departing international passengers (or arriving – where arrivals shops exist). SPP can also be significantly improved via three main avenues; raising conversion (passengers buying product), increasing units per transaction, and of course, increasing the dollar value per transaction. Regular monitoring of this data will allow airport executives and duty free operators to track progression and improvement levels and identify any areas that need attention early. Now, while some may question recommending such a basic, simple calculation, I make no apology for it, since I’m regularly surprised at the number of airport executives who do not fully understand or even use this key performance indicator (KPI). Spend per passenger is the vital essential ingredient that every airport executive and concessionaire should know by heart if they expect to monitor, manage and improve financial returns from a duty-free concession. Now we have reached the part where I’ll unashamedly promote my company’s ‘raison

d’être’ and expertise in this area, using our team of approximately eight retail specialists who make up the Hong Kongbased Paccaya Resources Ltd. These specialists concentrate on improving airport duty free operations by effectuating a commercial audit and implementing its recommendations, or by helping airports to assess and improve the potential value of their duty free space through a non-financial exercise that we call ‘ACP360’ (Airport Commercial Pulse). After studying passenger profiles, nationalities, numbers, etc, the ACP360 exercise involves walking the commercial environment at the airport and examining a list of criteria to ascertain the opportunities for improvement by both the airport and the duty free retailer. While it is difficult to cover all of the criteria in this short article, here are a few key questions we try to resolve positively for optimised key retail success: – Does the airport and the retailer have clear and engaging communication with the key passenger nationalities to promote the duty free shops? Is the value proposition clearly communicated? Does this communication engage the traveller before, during and after the visit? Is the communication in the key appropriate nationality’s language? – On the retail floor, is the assortment of categories and brands aligned with the nationality profiles? Product assortments must also make sense for the traveller. This includes relevant sizing, Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) highly demanded and marketed in their home country, and newness and sufficient stock availability in store. These are important drivers of SPP, which also deliver an authentic experience. In addition, is pricing and value the centrepiece stating clear saving propositions and positioned for the customer to clearly and readily see? Here it is also very important to remember that value drives units per ticket, as well as dollar value per transaction and ultimately spend per passenger.




SPECIAL REPORT: RETAIL/F&B – Are SKUs intelligently and clearly priced alongside clearly communicated promotions which are easy to understand, and do they promote a value proposition? Also, what is the key brand strategy on the floor? – At a staff level, is there a desire to interact with the customer to make the shop interactive and engaging? Additionally, and crucially, do staff possess the depth of product knowledge and ability required to up-sell and cross-sell? Also, does the store impart an air of curiosity and interest to customers related to promotions and new product lines and is the floor team focusing on the kind for service that makes duty free retail a pleasurable customer experience? – Is the shop easy to navigate, or is it cluttered with product and particularly around the check-out areas? Are the categories well laid out and complimented by a good brand line-up by category which matches key customer nationality interests? Are the gondola units working hard to promote value and is the shop using technology to help the customer understand pricing with full transparency? It may surprise some, but these are just a few criteria and to comply with all the above, and other positive and desirable standards, is seriously hard but nevertheless rewarding work. This really does require minute attention to detail if the ultimately conducive retail APA Issue 3, 2019

environment is not just matching customers’ needs, but also helping to convert browsers into buyers. Having said that, these are fairly simple retailing standards. When we work with airports, we also provide our assessment of observations and a prioritised list of recommendations for the commercial executive to review with the duty free operator. These executives do a commendable job managing the range of businesses generating non-aeronautical revenues (F&B, advertising, parking, foreign exchange, etc) and often are not retail experts. It is here where companies such as ours offer solutions to quickly identify retail areas needing improvement. Interestingly, the more airports we work on, the more we find lack the application of professional – yet simple – retail standards. Getting these right across an overall operation is our business, and the bottom-line benefits can be very APA impressive indeed.

About the author Andrew Ford spearheads Paccaya Resources Ltd (www.paccaya.com), an ACI World Business Partner, which specialises in advising clients on how to improve their strategic direction and commercial performance.




What’s in store? Joe Bates takes a closer look at the opening of some innovative new retail/F&B outlets across the region. SSP TO BE KEY F&B OPERATOR AT BEIJING DAXING

SSP Group has secured three contracts to open six food and beverage units at the new Beijing Daxing International Airport. As the key food and beverage operator at Beijing Daxing it will work with the airport to introduce concepts that will appeal to both local and international travellers. They will include a Blue Frog Bar & Grill, one of the fastest growing Western casual dining restaurants in China, which will open on the third-floor airside area of the airport. Popular Japanese restaurant chain, Saboten, will also make its first appearance at a mainland airport in China, with a new outlet opening on the second floor of the domestic airside area. Passengers will be able to sample Saboten’s signature dishes such as its special tonkatsu sauce and Koshihikari rice. A second Saboten unit will open on the fifth-floor departure landside mezzanine alongside three other Asian F&B brands. These include Michelin-recommended wonton noodle specialists Chee Kei; Chinese snacks chain Taoyuan Village; and Hungry APA Issue 3, 2015

Korean, which will serve authentic Korean dishes with a modern twist. “The travel retail market in China continues to grow at a rapid pace, and these latest launches will enable us to grow our presence and gain a stronger foothold in this burgeoning region," says CEO of SSP Asia Pacific, Mark Angela.


Hamad International Airport’s duty free operator, Qatar Duty Free (QDF), has collaborated with Puig to launch the brand’s largest activation to date. It features a 180sqm podium diagonally split into two distinctive sections featuring ‘Pacomarket’ by Paco Rabanne and ‘Hotel Carolina’ by Carolina Herrera, two of the group’s most prominent brands. QDF has amplified the retail activation with an innovative media campaign that immerses passengers in the brand experience as they travel through the airport even before they have reached the visually impressive podium. Key cards at HIA’s Airport Hotel customised with the ‘Hotel Carolina’ theme, shopping trolleys sporting a barcode that plays on the




Pacomarket theme and Carolina Herrera and Paco Rabanne ads playing on iconic digital screens that dominate the retail plaza create intrigue around the activation and entice visitors to the podium to experience these unique brand concepts.


Christchurch Airport has become the second New Zealand gateway to open an official All Blacks store in conjunction with Lagardère Travel Retail. Located in the centre of the terminal and accessible to both domestic and international departing passengers, its opening coincided with the start of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. The 120sqm store – whose design is said to have been inspired by a traditional locker room – features two eye-catching LED archway entrances inviting shoppers into the store, an experiential area featuring the Haka 360 experience, digital highlights reel showing iconic All Blacks’ moments, the Wall of Champions, and a roof adorned with a super-sized silver fern all designed to replicate the excitement and atmosphere experienced by the current world cup. “The store offers new experiences, new merchandise and new ways to support the All Blacks,” enthused Justin Watson, the airport’s chief aeronautical and commercial officer. Lagardère Travel Retail, which opened the first official All Blacks store at Auckland Airport

in 2018, operates 38 retail outlets across Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Nelson, Rotorua and Palmerston North airports.


Asian high street favourite, Tai Cheong Bakery, and Archipelago Craft Brew are the latest new additions to Singapore Changi’s F&B offering. Introduced in partnership with the SSP Group and located landside in Terminal 3, Tai Cheong Bakery is one of Hong Kong’s most popular traditional bakeries with more than 20 outlets across Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. And, according to SSP, the new unit has been tailored to meet the needs of the busy airport environment, with a takeaway counter allowing customers to quickly “grab and go”. In contrast, Archipelago Craft Brew House is a new concept developed by SSP in partnership with the Archipelago Brewery by Asia Pacific Brewery, which has been creating handcrafted, speciality beers in Singapore since 2006. Teo Chew Hoon, Changi Airport Group's senior vice president for airside concessions, enthused: “SSP continues to wow Changi Airport’s passengers with their innovative concepts and offerings. "Their new Archipelago Bar takes the passenger experience to a new level as they marry their unique craft beer flavours together with Singapore’s signature salted egg yolk offerings, creating an all-new blend of tastes APA for locals and visitors to enjoy." www.aci-apa.com




Today’s special Pragma Consulting's Alex Avery discusses how food and beverage is transforming airport retail.


hilst the challenges of delivering growth in retail are well documented, F&B continues to be the star performer for many airports. Pragma has seen annual growth in spend per passenger of up to 15% in some locations. In our opinion, there are two key factors at play here. Firstly, the global rise in demand for eating out. This contributes to a greater appetite for spending on food whilst travelling or in airports. In fact, F&B spend now constitutes a large share of overall airport spend in the US and globally. Secondly, it’s supply-led with an improved width and depth of F&B propositions in airports, providing better choice, increasing penetration and average transaction values. With a large proportion of the airport customer base engaging with the F&B offerings, it’s an important and growing segment for operators. Figures show that, on average, 50% of passengers are eating and drinking at airports (IATA Consulting, 2017). With this in mind, airport F&B becomes an exciting opportunity for operators looking to innovate, deliver new experiences and provide true offer-driven propositions, putting customers at the heart. In this article, we’ll unpack how it is, in fact, changing the face of airport retail. APA Issue 3, 2019


There’s an inherent desire for consumers to find an area to relax and set-up a base within airports, often due to the pre-departure long waits. Traditionally, this meant going to airport lounges or ‘free’ waiting areas in basic common seating areas. Today, increasingly, F&B outlets now play the role of lounges, with better quality – both in terms of offerings and décor/environment – increasing the likelihood of passengers opting to wait for flights in the Pret, Wagamamas, or locally themed concept bar. This, in turn, has led to more F&B space at airports, in response to customer demand and operators looking at new ways to attract customers and meet their desires. The rise of digital mobility has also been significant. With smartphones and airport Wi-Fi connection, passengers can multi-task – catch up with emails, watch Netflix, plan travel, or browse retail websites – all from the comfort of their preferred F&B outlet, with the company of a good quality flat white.


Evolving consumer priorities have given rise to a range of F&B initiatives as passengers expect seamless engagement with an airport outlet, as with their high street counterpart.



As is the case with F&B in general, technology is increasingly being utilised to improve the airport F&B experience, with a large proportion of innovations hitting on the convenience factor. Examples include: • Delivery services allow airports to increase F&B spend from ‘gate huggers’ and passengers who worry they might not have time for a sit-down meal. We have seen this being introduced at airports such as Amsterdam Schiphol with Deliveroo, and Toronto Pearson with Uber Eats. www.aci-apa.com


We’re seeing a significant focus on experiences within airports with adding local foodservice brands, making airport dining an extension of the vacation and offering travellers that distinct sense of place. Local brands can account for around 40% of dining options at the average airport, with many trying to create an appropriate balance across local, regional, and global brands. With more conscious consumers focused on sustainability, particularly within the millennial age bracket, localisation has become part of a wider focus on immersive cultural experience. Travellers care about locally sourced produce and regional supply chains as much as they care about local brands – certainly their ethics aren’t left at the check-in desk, so more operators are responding to this. This ties into health too. Again, millennials want to know what is going into their body and where food comes from. Historically, airport pizza was made from frozen dough, now it can be wheat flour, procured locally, made and cooked on the same day. Convenience is another major driver for F&B to consider. The increased streamlining of the passenger journey has seen a corresponding demand for

time efficiency and convenience. So, F&B has to speed up the ordering process, through technological innovations such as mobile ordering. The desire for variety is integral to the increased demand for experiences, and therefore incorporates factors such as healthy eating and personalisation, both of which F&B outlets have caught on to. Dubai International Airport’s T3 features the Daily DXB food hall – a bespoke concept that aims “to guide travellers on a culinary journey” offering street food from across the globe. Moreover, they have a broad mix of healthy, customisable offers, such as Hawaiian Poke. Prime Tavern in New York’s LaGuardia airport offers specials every night, with chefs’ sourcing produce from the local farmers market. We’ve also seen a farm-to-terminal movement. Examples include the iconic farmers market at LAX, which features grab and go meals and drinks from the restaurants and stalls located at the original Market at Third and Fairfax. San Francisco International has been at the forefront of this (combined with personalisation), recently opening the Napa Farms Market, offering locally sourced gourmet food items for plane bound travellers to assemble their own ‘picnic basket’ before boarding.





• Pre-order apps such as Level Up and Grab enable passengers to order from airport F&B outlets in advance and pick up their order directly, skipping the queue. They can increase F&B spending from passengers with short dwell times, for example, those travelling for business. • Apps such as Gate Guru provide passengers with F&B unit reviews and can improve footfall to units located away from the main passenger flow. A key component to ensure the success of the delivery propositions will firstly be to ensure widespread awareness of the facility amongst passengers, which can be a challenge when the proportion of infrequent or first-time users of many airports is high; and secondly, to match customer expectations with the reality of fulfilment. On the high street we are seeing more innovations with tech-enabled operations; Café X is a robotic café bar with three locations in San Francisco, with a fully automated robotic barista; potentially a feature which could be introduced in airports to address the queues.


Success of F&B in airports is down to putting customers at the heart, understanding different passenger segments and how their needs differ (short vs long dwell time, travelling alone vs in a group, seeking comfort food vs seeking authentic experiences etc). APA Issue 3, 2019

F&B has made it work by providing quick and simple grab and go solutions in prime locations (en route to gates) while also introducing more experiential dining options which create a sense of place. In some ways, it’s more challenging for retail because (a) different customer needs don’t translate as naturally into retail concepts, and (b) with eating and drinking being a fundamental need-state, people will actively seek out an F&B concept which reflects their requirements whereas retail concepts have to work harder to encourage customers to visit their stores. F&B in airports has seen fantastic innovation recently, which has helped drive customer penetration and spend, but with this, comes rising expectations. As a word of caution, there have been many well-documented closures for oncepopular casual dining brands on the high-street, demonstrating the speed with which customers vote with their feet and take their spend to the newest, most popular concept. Whilst customers are less able to switch within the captive space of airport F&B, the ability to adapt quickly to new trends and emerging concepts will be fundamental to driving continued growth APA in the market.

About the author Alex Avery is managing director for airports, travel and commercial spaces at Pragma Consulting (www.pragmauk.com), an ACI World Business Partner.



SPECIAL REPORT: RETAIL/F&B The Domestic Terminal at Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport.

Riyadh’s retail revamp Asia-Pacific Airports takes a closer look at plans to enhance the retail offering at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia.


assenger numbers are rising across the Middle East, and with forecasts predicting that this upward trajectory is set to continue in the long-term, many of the region’s airports are looking to expand their capacity and drive a stronger passenger experience. While new greenfield airport projects such as Saudi Arabia’s Amaala Red Sea resort and Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal tend to dominate industry headlines with stunning new terminal designs, there is, of course, also a crucial need for many airports to demonstrate vision and commitment to update historic facilities to ensure they can fully address the region’s long-term growth. APA Issue 3, 2019

Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport (KKIA) is a notable example. Built in 1983 to a design by pioneering airport architects HOK, KKIA’s design utilises four triangular-shaped terminals within one main building, connected to each other by three linking buildings. Although some degree of growth capacity was strategically built-in by the inclusion of the unused fourth terminal, the continuing growth in traffic has driven a major long-term development programme across the whole airport, requiring a new approach to the optimisation of non-aeronautical revenues across the terminals.



goal is for King Khalid International Airport to become one of the top 50 airports in the world.” He adds: “Our work with The Design Solution produced an outstanding design through redefining our commercial layout to serve our passenger’s needs and create a truly unique experience.” Riyadh Airports Company’s, commercial analytics manager, Abdulaziz Algoufi, notes: “Designing the commercial layout in airports is always challenging since it depends on intense analysis that aims at defining the perfect commercial offer while enhancing the passenger’s journey. “The new design aims to enable KKIA to increase its commercial offering by 40% and enhance the passenger experience through an additional 25% area allocated for passenger facilities.” TDS planning director, Graeme Johns, says: “The team has managed to achieve a classic commercial plan for both terminals 3 and 4, creating a central heart in each terminal immediately after the walkthrough duty free stores. “These feature unusually high shopfront zones where the concessionaires can maximise their impact. The potential for T1 and T2 is very exciting with the major new extension being designed specifically with commerce in mind, but also delivering huge operational benefits for departing passengers. “Investment in airport capacity and facilities in the Middle East remains strong, second only to Asia-Pacific, with significant competition between hubs and a real spirit of determination to develop an industry-leading passenger experience, such as we see at KKIA.” Aligned with the kingdom’s Vision 2030, KKIA is carrying out a three-phase radical redevelopment affecting almost every area of the airport estate, including infrastructure enhancement, runways, baggage areas, corridors and aircraft parking and a new road linkage network for the airport. www.aci-apa.com


Indeed, a reported $590 million is being invested on enhancing KKIA, which handled a record 26.6 million passengers (+5.5%) in 2018 to cement its status as the second busiest airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport. Integral to the development of KKIA is a powerful commercial focus, including the appointment of London-based specialists The Design Solution (TDS) to support the commercial planning strategy. The contract is just part of the longterm national programme to radically update Saudi Arabia’s airports, including raising capacity and enhancing infrastructure at KKIA. Pragma Consulting also form part of the team advising on the commercial aspects of the project. The development will expand capacities, improve services and dramatically transform the commercial offering, with each terminal featuring a walk-through duty free shop and its own shops, cafés and restaurants. KKIA’s development of terminals 3 and 4 creates opportunities for adjustment to passenger operations across all the airport’s terminals, including the reallocation of domestic and international passengers and a stronger commercial planning approach throughout. The planning includes a new centralised commercial area (post security) between terminals 1 and 2, before passengers depart through either of the two terminals that will then act essentially as piers. Talking about Riyadh Airports Company’s vision for KKIA, the company’s vice president for commercial, Gelban AlGelban, says: “We are undertaking a number of major transformation projects as part of privatising the aviation sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “As a result, we are seeking opportunities to optimise KKIA’s commercial returns and enhance the passenger experience. Our strategic





Are you being served? What are the prerequisites to delivering exceptional customer experience along all touchpoints of the passenger journey? Redwater Consulting Group’s Kateryna Hess investigates.


ustomer experience (CX) has become a buzz word in today’s service industries from telecommunications, financial institutions and travel organisations to infrastructure providers. Consumers have become more connected and well informed about prices and offers from competitors. They tend to share their experiences on social media and have more choices than ever before. These are just a few reasons why airports need to understand and invest in creating a ‘perfect’ customer journey and enhance the customer experience. All airports are, fundamentally, intermodal pieces of infrastructure, allowing passengers to transfer from one mode of APA Issue 3, 2019

transport to another. However, advanced airports not only provide safe and secure environments in line with this ethos but also connect people, offering them unique customer experiences as they transit the facility. Many large airports in Asia-Pacific invest in innovative technologies such as biometrics and new security scanners to ensure seamless arrival and departure processes, but what does it take to really provide a superior CX offering to passengers and what are airports doing to ensure they stay ahead of the curve? To discover more, I asked managers from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra airports in Australia to find out exactly what the customer experience means to them.




Speaking generally, customer experience is the holistic objective and subjective satisfaction levels experienced before, during and after a transaction between seller and purchaser. It is the way the seller of the product made the purchaser feel. From the retail perspective, customer experience is measured by the relevance of the commercial offering. “It is about creating a retail portfolio of stores that improves the customer journey,” says Andrew Gardiner, chief of retail at Melbourne Airport. John Pearce, head of retail at Adelaide International Airport, understands CX as the creation of the desire to purchase and repeat the experience at a later point. A loyal retail customer repeats purchases more often. It is far easier to sell more to an existing customer and maximise retail spend that way. If the overall retail environment is right, the purchaser is willing and pleased to spend more than they otherwise would. Pearce is convinced that in retail, it is all about personalisation and loyalty. Retailers must continuously invent and present new ideas, techniques and methods to surprise and delight customers during their journey to make sure passengers are engaged and informed. Michael Thomson, head of aviation at Canberra Airport, says: “Customer experience is a seamless, comfortable, easy

and smooth transition from the moment of arrival to the moment of departure.” Airports should focus on providing services to assist this experience. While Georgina Dorsett, head of customer and stakeholder engagement at Sydney Airport, highlighted that CX is all about how customers feel about the quality and consistency of all interactions during their journey. Dorsett adds: “We see customer experience as a connected experience across all touchpoints of a customer’s journey through our airport. It’s something that needs to be continually improved.” My company, the Redwater Consulting Group, see CX as a continually optimised business process of all interactions of the customer journey. It is a primary differentiator for the final decision-making regarding airport, product and service choice, when all other aspects, such as price, connection time, etc, are equal. One of the key prerequisites to a successful CX strategy is to understand the most critical components of delivering exceptional customer experience. For instance, Dorsett, says: “Our customers tell us that the most crucial thing is to get the basics right. “Once you have that great foundation, you can develop those additional services and offers that really delight customers”. www.aci-apa.com



CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Several other key elements have been identified during the interviews with airport managers, and have been summarised below: • Listen to customers, understand and implement their feedback • Create authentic environments and make customers feel safe, informed and comfortable • Develop right tenancy and brand mix relevant to the target audience • Have sufficient seating options for customers to observe, relax, recharge and get inspired • Intercorrelation between customer service, design and passenger facilitation perspective • Deliver a world class service and exceptional experience beyond the customer’s expectations There are many examples of CX strategies that have been developed along these guidelines. Canberra Airport, for example, hosts a community-wide Airport Open Day (pictured above), where they close a portion of the airfield and allow customers to explore the airport, take guided aircraft tours and see live aeronautical displays. Sydney Airport implemented a quiet terminal initiative to improve the overall ambience for passengers and, more recently, in partnership with AIRA, launched a free of charge app that assists the visually impaired to navigate their way through its terminals. APA Issue 3, 2019

Melbourne Airport has developed a VIP strategy for customers to process them differently and Adelaide Airport has created playgrounds with adjacent table service so parents can easily order food and drinks without moving away from their children. Speaking with the airports, it became apparent that an effective and strong governance model is also critical to the success of any CX strategy. However, there is no one rule fits all for airports, as a governance model highly depends on the size, ownership structure and culture of the business. For example, at Adelaide Airport, there is a head of customer experience who oversees the marketing and branding at the airport. Contrarily, at Melbourne Airport a CX manager role as such does not exist but instead there is a multi-disciplinary traveller experience committee chaired by the CEO where executives from retail, security, car parking and aviation meet monthly and discuss all issues and gaps of the customer journey. A similar governance model is practiced at Sydney Airport where the executive committee reviews customer satisfaction scores on a monthly basis and makes recommendations for actions to respond to any concerns. The head of customer and stakeholder engagement is also involved in these meetings and contributes with insights on customer feedback.




CX is also a pillar of the investment prioritisation framework in place at Sydney Airport, equal with capacity, efficiency and other commercial considerations. Canberra Airport, known as a company with a flat hierarchy and collaborative approach, does not have a CX manager role in their structure either. CX strategy and related topics is part of the executive meetings led by managing director of the airport. Along with the governance model, it is crucial to develop tools and programmes that enable CX strategy to be successful. Melbourne Airport, for instance, provides the same level of training to all retail staff in order to ensure the consistency of service at all shops and F&B outlets. An important aspect not to overlook when developing a CX strategy is the impact of addressing terminal capacity constraints and associated construction works at airports. Continuously updating the retail and F&B outlets and redeveloping terminals, for instance, has a direct impact on the customer experience. To mitigate these effects, several solutions were identified that include branded pop-up stores, mobile food carts and simply carrying out extensive communication through various media to inform customers and stakeholders at an early stage.

It is apparent how exposed the customer journey is to small, seemingly negligible, changes in the environment. Successful implementation of CX strategies depends on numerous factors. During research, it became clear that several key factors can underpin this development. 1. Extensive and continuous customer and B2B research, benchmarking, and mystery shopping 2. Adapt governance models with integrated CX roles across all airport departments and functions 3. Redevelop retail offerings and provide acceptable alternatives during construction works 4. Invest in technology and staff training to meet CX KPIs 5. Increase loyalty via personalisation of the customer service Ultimately, bringing the customer experience to the forefront of decision making is what will make these strategies successful over the long-term.

About the author Kateryna Hess is a management consultant at Redwater Consulting Group (www.redwatercg.com), an ACI World Business Partner. www.aci-apa.com





Light relief Smart-tinting glass can have a hugely positive impact on the airport experience for passengers and potentially boost commercial revenues, writes David Yim.


irports are some of the most visited places in the world, and they are expected to become even busier in the years ahead as they evolve into more than just transit hubs. The recently-opened Jewel at Singapore’s Changi Airport and planned opening of Hong Kong International Airport’s retail, dining and entertainment venue, SKYCITY, are prime examples of how an ever increasing number of airports are becoming destinations in their own right, and so much more than just places where people go to catch flights. And with 15 of the world’s 20 fastestgrowing major airports for passenger traffic currently located in Asia, and the Asia-Pacific region predicted to account for up to 40% of the world's international passenger traffic growth between now and 2040, much of the innovation in this area is expected to come from this region. What is for certain is the fact that with such potential for growth, the design and development of future terminals and the APA Issue 3, 2019

upgrading of existing ones will be a critical element in providing a relaxing experience for passengers. User centric designs that provide easy access for all will be key, as will the integration and use of new capacity enhancing and passenger enabling technologies. Airport facades are often designed to be simple and clear with a lack of visual chaos to provide a relaxing experience for passengers. Indeed, creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing airport environment without excessive glare and solar heat gain can make a significant difference to the airport experience. And, as we all know, passengers that are happy and feel comfortable tend to spend more money at shops and restaurants. Creating a safe, operationally efficient and user-friendly facility should be the goal and, in this respect, lighting can play an important role in helping relax anxious travellers, define large interior spaces and direct people through terminals. Natural sunlight, known as daylighting, also helps with overcoming jetlag.




As airports are known to have a high energy consumption, to be more environmentally friendly, architectural and maintenance and engineering (M&E) designs need to maximise energy efficiency and minimise maintenance. To this end, airports will look to technology to become more efficient and reduce their energy costs and, in doing so, improve the airport environment – and subsequently the wellbeing – of both travellers and staff. Smart-tinting electrochromic glass (EC) can overcome some of these challenges by controlling glare, reducing solar heat gain and bringing in natural light to create a more comfortable experience. It could also improve the operational efficiency for airport staff and enhance safety. Results from earlier EC glass installations in airports show a rise in passenger spending attributed to the increased comfort gained from effectively managing heat and glare. In fact, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in the US reported a 102% increase in revenue at the restaurant closest to its smart-glass installation and an 83% rise in passenger dwell time at the nearest gate as users were no longer bothered by the sun’s glare on them and their electronic devices. This makes smart-tinting glass extremely beneficial to shops, bars and restaurants with a tarmac view. The benefits of a responsive living facade also extend to airport architecture and

design. With restrictions on the runway and roadway orientation, airport terminal facades are limited in their positioning and often face direct sunlight. With such technology, airport designers can control glare, reduce solar heat gain and improve energy efficiency while keeping the seamless tarmac view, which passengers love. Heat gain is of paramount concern with the vast amount of glass facades in airports. EC glass technology reduces the load on the HVAC (heating, ventilation and airconditioning) system with dynamic real-time response through cloud-based automation to adjust to external weather conditions and internal factors like the number of passengers, airport layout and position of lighting. With advances in next-generation electrochromic technology, I believe that the glass facades of future airports will look dramatically different than today. Imagine uninterrupted views of the tarmac, seamless glass facades and healthy amounts of natural daylight without the heat and glare. The future of airports is about to APA get even brighter.

About the author David Yim is senior manager for Halio International Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, a joint venture between AGC, the world’s largest flat glass manufacturer, and Kinestral Technologies, Inc, the developer and manufacturer of Halio smart-tinting glass. www.aci-apa.com




Industry news News, views and reviews from ACI’s regional and global World Business Partners. TECH SAVVY TRAVELLERS DRIVING AIRPORT STRATEGIES The demands of the growing number of tech-savvy travellers will have the biggest impact on the digital plans of airports and airlines over the next six years to 2025, according to industry executives quizzed for SITA’s new report, 2025: Air Travel for a Digital Age. The report claims that by 2025, 68% of all passengers will be digital travellers and will expect to manage their travel in much the same way they do every other aspect of their daily lives – using their mobile phones. This demographic shift, says the report, has created digital travellers who are demanding more automation and hands-on control over each step of their journey. In particular, they expect to use their mobile phone to access services ranging from baggage location notifications, to boarding and payments. They also expect their trip to be delivered as a single, unified experience across airports, airlines, border control and other modes of transport – from the moment they leave home to when they arrive at their destination. SITA CEO, Barbara Dalibard, notes: “This demographic shift brings with it the expectation to use technology everywhere – including during travel. This will have a profound impact on how passengers interact with airports and airlines by 2025. “In fact, 83% of airport and airline IT leaders surveyed by SITA believe that this demographic shift will be the most important influence on their passenger solutions strategy by 2025.” Dalibard maintains that this shift requires more efficient operations and collaboration between airlines, airports and other stakeholders responsible for delivering that experience. APA Issue 3, 2019

SITA cites baggage as a prime example of where improvements could be made, noting that luggage can change hands a dozen times between the airline, airport, the ground handler and customs agencies during a single journey. And, it says, if the right data is not shared between the entities, it is difficult to keep track of hold luggage, and therefore provide passengers with information on the whereabouts of their bags. “Without this collaboration, we will not be able to deliver the journey digital travellers want,” states Dalibard. Biometric technology is one of the key enablers to delivering more automation as well as smoothly linking each step in the journey, according to SITA. Dalibard adds: “To truly benefit from biometric technology, we as an industry, need to work together to develop and agree a digital identity that not only provides passengers control over their identity but is accepted in any airport and across borders, much like passports are today. “This cannot be done in isolation and requires a high degree of collaboration to make it a reality.”




UPGRADING FOR THE 2020 OLYMPICS Narita International Airport has signed a contract with ICM Airport Technics for the installation of 72 self-service Auto Bag Drop (ABD) units ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Designed and built by ICM, the Series 7 ABD units will be progressively rolled out across all four terminals of Tokyo Narita. Multi-lingual and described as “packed with user-friendly features”, ICM’s ABD units will improve the efficiency of check-in and bag drop times for passengers of multiple airlines. This is ICM’s first foray into the Japanese market, with further significant developments in Japan to be announced in the coming months. “ICM is delighted to have been appointed by Narita to bring our world-leading self-service solutions to improve the passenger experience and throughput in time for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games,” enthuses ICM Group CEO, Richard Dinkelmann. “This is an ideal opportunity for ICM to showcase our technology in Japan.”

INDIA MISSION FOR PRIORITY PASS Priority Pass is set to double its lounge portfolio in India over the next three years, building on its suite of 45 airport facilities in 20 cities and global network of more than 1,200 lounges. Collinson’s wholly-owned and operated airport infrastructure business, Airport Lounge Development (ALD), is also working with airports across India to identify opportunities to open its own exclusive lounges and airport amenities to meet the growing demand of domestic and international travellers. David Evans, joint CEO of Collinson, said: “India is a vital market and one we see on a par with China in terms of growth potential. “We look forward to building our lounge inventory and our own airport infrastructure, creating more locally relevant propositions and further strengthening our team on the ground with additional skilled local resources, and partnering with Indian businesses to redefine the airport experience for the benefit of domestic and international travellers.” www.aci-apa.com






GLIDEPATH Location: Auckland, New Zealand Contact: Hamish Smith E: Hamish.smith@glidepathgroup.com W: www.glidepathgroup.com Committed to ongoing growth, technological innovation and development, Glidepath offers complete solutions for your baggage handling, cargo handling and parcel sortation needs from expert consulting services right through to design, manufacture, installation and integrated software control systems.

LEADING THE WAY Lead8 has been appointed lead designer for the planned renovation of Terminal 1 at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Working with Airport Authority Hong Kong, Lead8 will spearhead a collaboration of internationally renowned consultants to deliver a transformative upgrade to the passenger halls of the 21-year-old iconic aviation hub. The Boarding Gate Transformation project is expected to be completed in 2021. Lead8’s design scope includes a total overhaul and upgrade of the 49 boarding gates and adjacent areas of the Level 6 departure concourses. The renovation work will include upgraded technologies at all boarding gates, along with new and refreshed beam seating across all departure waiting areas. In addition, retail and service cabins will be upgraded with more convenience for passenger access, all targeting to deliver a more fluid experience for travellers. “The refreshed look of the terminal will bring an inviting ambience that combines new technological features to convey convenience and comfort to the terminal’s local and international travellers when transiting to and from Hong Kong,” says Lead8’ co-founder and executive director, Chris Lohan. Lead8 have also curated a number of entirely new experiential zones that will provide places of entertainment, relaxation, on-the-go work and general down-time spaces for passengers awaiting flights. APA Issue 3, 2019

ARUP Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR Contact: Ian Taylor E: ian.taylor@arup.com W: www.arup.com Arup brings together broad-minded individuals from a wide range of disciplines and encourages them to look beyond the constraints of their own specialisms. This unconventional approach to design springs in part from Arup’s ownership structure. The firm is owned in trust on behalf of its staff. The result is an independence of spirit that is reflected in the firm’s work, and in its dedicated pursuit of technical excellence. AEROSCAPE SERVICES PTE LTD Location: Singapore Contact: Sulaiman Zainul Abidin E: sulaiman.za@aeroscape.com W: www.aeroscape.com Aeroscape was shaped as a consulting company, providing specialised services and solutions to aviation groups. Though the company’s core objective is to assist the client in aviation-specific technical challenges, Aeroscape has evolved to support the other ancillary aspects of the industry, while still maintaining the primary focus. The design features of Aeroscape include technical aviation advisory, aviationbased market research, aviation-related advertising and training in the sphere of aviation.


Profile for Asia-Pacific Airports Magazine

Asia-Pacific Airports - Issue 3, 2019  

• In the spotlight: Retail/F&B • Airport Report: Brisbane • Special report: Customer service • Plus: Regional & Industry news

Asia-Pacific Airports - Issue 3, 2019  

• In the spotlight: Retail/F&B • Airport Report: Brisbane • Special report: Customer service • Plus: Regional & Industry news