Dufry wins five-year HK-China railway contract

By Luke Barras-hill |

Hong-Kong-China-MTR trainsDufry Group has hailed a ‘milestone’ victory in its channel diversification strategy after winning the concession to operate duty free stores at Hong Kong’s West Kowloon station.

The contract for the state-of-the-art railway station serving the Hong Kong mainland runs for five years and was awarded on 13 February, according to operator MTR Corporation.

As reported, Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation issued an invitation to tender for the concession last August following major steps in the construction of the West Kowloon terminal.

The Hong Kong section of the high-speed Express Rail Link (XRL) links West Kowloon to the Shenzhen/Hong Kong border where it joins the mainland connection covering over 25,000km.


An artist’s impression showing how the West Kowloon MTR station, which is 99% complete, could look upon completion.


Under the contract, Dufry will run a departures (1,200sq m) and arrivals (300sq m) shop selling core beauty, liquor and tobacco, confectionery, fashion and health and wellbeing products.

Andrea Belardini, Dufry Divisional CEO for Asia, Middle East, Australia and Eastern Europe commented: “The development of this new railway station is a major project and we are delighted that we have been awarded with the contract which runs for 5 years.

“The duty free experience that we are set to deliver will represent another important milestone in our drive to expand in the region and a great opportunity to showcase Dufry’s capabilities in the highly competitive market of Hong Kong.

“We look forward to working closely with the high speed rail team to develop a world-class store that reflects the vision they have for this prestigious new station”.

Dufry says the ‘significant win’ forms part of its vision to develop its Asian business, which grew by 5% to total CHF809.1m ($855m) last year.

The globe’s leading travel retail says it will prioritise delivering high-end ‘flagship’ stores that are designed to cater to Chinese and Hong Kong passengers.


Andrea Belardini, Dufry Divisional CEO for Asia, Middle East, Australia and Eastern Europe.


Established in 1975, MTR operates 10 railway lines serving Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories in addition to a light railway network and airport express.

Work on the high-speed rail link was 99.2% complete as of February with a major works completion ceremony held on Friday 23 March.

“We are thrilled to see this project coming to fruition,” Professor Frederick Ma, Chairman of the MTR Corporation stated.

“The construction of this cross-boundary railway connection has never been an easy feat. We have overcome various challenges during the past few years and it is exciting to see that the railway is ready to proceed to its trial operations.

“In the coming months, we will continue to make our best endeavours to get ready for commissioning the rail service this September.”

MTRIn related news, the MTR Corporation announced on the same day the results of its publil High Speed Rail Train Naming Competition.

The judging panel selected 動感號 [translated as ‘Vibrant Express] as the brand for the nine Hong-Kong-owned high-speed trains, which will display on the body of the carriages when they enter service.

*Main image source: MTR Annual Results 2017

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