Dufry/Avolta to run Wuhan Tianhe T2 in joint venture with Hubei Airport Group

By Luke Barras-hill |

Xavier Rossinyol, Chief Executive Officer, Dufry/Avolta.

Soon-to-be-named Avolta – the new Dufry/Autogrill fascia – will operate as the master concessionaire at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport Terminal 2 in a joint venture with Hubei Airport Group (HBA).

The strategic partnership will oversee 77 shops spanning a 77,000sq m footprint encompassing ‘carefully selected’ retail, F&B, convenience and hybrid units featuring domestic and international brands and concepts to cater to Chinese and international travellers.

Following a development phase, the first shops are scheduled to open between the end of December and early January 2024.

In a statement, Dufry/Avolta says it will draw on its enlarged business capabilities and work with HBA to develop ‘integrated commercial areas’ that present ‘extraordinary shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment experiences’ for travellers.

As China’s 14th largest airport, Wuhan Tianhe served more than 27 million passengers in 2019.

‘Brave and exciting step’

Thanking HBA for its support as master concessionaire partner, Xavier Rossinyol, CEO of Dufry/Avolta, said: “Wuhan Tianhe’s Terminal 2 will be the first entity in the Chinese market to be jointly operated by Dufry, soon to be called Avolta, the world’s leading travel experience company, and Hubei Airport Group, one of the foremost airport groups in China.

“This is a brave and exciting next step for our company. In line with our Destination 2027 strategy, we look forward to introducing innovative concepts which will elevate the traveller’s airport experience to an entirely new level.

“We’re confident that this aligns with Hubei Airport Group’s own vision to set the highest international standards for airport commercial operations. As Avolta, we are more than Dufry, and we are more than Autogrill, and this significant contract attests to our expanded ability to offer airport partners a comprehensive set of travel retail, F&B, convenience and hybrid concepts, fully managing the commercial spaces in our role as master concessionaire.”

Li Zhonglu, Chairman of HBA, added: “Hubei Airport Group has joined hands with Dufry to establish a comprehensive and deep-seated strategic partnership, leveraging the airport’s big channel, big hub, big network, and big platform functions, and also leveraging Dufry’s global supply chain, operational expertise, and its leading position in the industry.

“In doing so we are deepening our resource sharing, strengthening efficient collaboration, and working together to build the platform, elevate the travel experience, and expand the market opportunities. Working together, we can successfully promote the integrated development of Wuhan as a travel hub, and better serve travellers, as well as the province’s further development as it opens up to the outside world.”

To watch an exclusive video interview with Dufry/Avolta CEO Xavier Rossinyol, click here.

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