As exclusively reported on these pages, Wellington Airport duty free operator Duty Free Stores New Zealand (DFSNZ) has applied for a legal injunction in an effort to prevent the airport operator from splitting the duty
free business between two operators when Wellington's new international terminal opens in July 2007.
Wellington Airport went to tender this year for a second operator, after it failed to reach a financial agreement with its incumbent operator DFSNZ on a lease agreement extension beyond 2009.
DFSNZ, which has operated the concession at Wellington for 18 years, is arguing that bringing in a second operator would cost it around NZ$2.6m ($1.8m) in lost profits, since the overall sales would be diluted. It says that any new stores operated by any new operator would place it at a competitive disadvantage. The airport authority disputes this.
While the outcome of this case is pending until the hearing in February 2006, both short-listed bidders, Nuance and King Power (Hong Kong) will be watching with keen interest, since the ruling will be crucial to the viability or otherwise of their existing offers.
Asia & Pacific,