ACI Europe attracts 350 delegates in Porto

By Administrator |

Despite the challenging times, ACI Europe's 18th Airport Trading Conference and Exhibition attracted around 350 airport operators and retailers in Porto yesterday – an event hosted by ANA, Aeroportos de Portugal.

ACI Europe said in a statement: ‘This year's event takes place as the present crisis is severely impacting on airports and related businesses, in particular commercial activities ranging from retail, car parking and rental, food and beverage to media, telecommunications and travel services.

‘With airlines only paying a fraction of the full cost of the airport infrastructure they use, commercial activities have become essential for European airports over the last 15 years. The revenues generated by these activities contribute to the financing of the modernisation and development of vital airport infrastructure for Europe.

‘However, not only are commercial activities facing the worst trading conditions on record, they continue to be exposed to existing restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) as well as to new airline cabin baggage limitations.’

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe added in his welcome speech this morning: ‘European airports are reacting responsibly to the crisis and indeed, we have not seen a massive increase of airport charges across Europe. At the same time, there is a renewed focus by airports on developing alternative sources of revenue. Ultimately, this crisis will further accelerate the commercialisation of European airports as a response to increasing market pressures.’

He added ‘Developing commercial activities with falling passenger numbers is no small feat. Yet, aside from the crisis, these activities continue to face significant challenges. While we are making progress on the development of new screening technology that will permit the withdrawal of security restrictions on LAGs, the financing of its deployment will require that European governments finally acknowledge their responsibility. Public financing is urgently required if European air passengers are ever to see the benefits of such technology.’

Meanwhile, the rest of the event itself went very well with a presentation yesterday morning that was generally agreed to be one of the best keynote presentations ever seen at an industry event by BJ Cunningham of The Enlightened Tobacco Company.

He had the audience laughing convulsively as he described his various business ventures, the successes and the failures and his complete intolerance of business bully boy tactics and how he has combated this. Lessons in self confidence, simplifying marketing plans and delivering what you promise were all central messages, along with others of practical use within his fascinating address.

This was followed by the First Working Session entitled: ‘In today's world what is the competitive advantage of airport retailing versus local market and other distribution chains, and how do you get the most from it?’

Chaired and moderated by Doug Newhouse, Editor of The Travel Retail Business, this featured excellent 10-minute presentations from the following individuals: Brian Woodhead, Retail Concessions Director BAA; Eugenio Andrades, Commercial Director, Aldeasa/Autogrill; Philippe Goldman, Division Manager, Lancome, Travel Retail Europe, Middle East & Africa; and Ronald Brodheim, CEO, Grupo Brodheim.

A subsequent lengthy questions and answers session with the lively and engaging audience was also a highlight of the morning. (Full reports of all the main presentations will be published in the next edition of The Travel Retail Business magazine-Ed].

After lunch, the 14.00 Second Working Session began, entitled: ‘Successfully overcoming industry challenges, and setting trends to maximise revenues’. This was Chaired and Moderated very well by Peter Poungias, Director Commercial & Property, Hochtief Airport GmbH and the Vice-Chairman of the ACI Europe Commercial Forum.Dr Peter Mohn, Partner, m1nd-set presented an interesting paper on ‘How are passenger demographics changing, and how can airports and concessionaires best maximise upon this?

He was then followed by Doug Benham, Director of Retail and Commercial at Macquarie Capital Funds who ably covered the theme: ‘Successfully optimising airport space from existing facilities to create more room for commercial gain’.

The next presentation came from Tony Wijntuin, Manager Retail, Hospitality and Services, Schiphol Group who spoke on the theme: ‘Free passenger services: How does it work? How do you provide wi-fi, baggage carts, baby care, lounges, downloads and other free services to travellers and what sponsorship and partnership approaches work best for both consumers and the airport?

Last, but certainly not least, Lu?s Rodolfo, Director of Retailing, ANA Aeroportos de Portugal then presented his session entitled: ‘ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal SA is implementing a strategic retail plan for its network of airports that it devised some years ago. What does this plan involve, and what new innovations will drive increased passenger spending?’

A good questions and answers' session followed before the final session, which covered the internet and technology – allies or foes? TREND will report on this and the remaining sessions later.


The Sustainability Pitch Session 1: Chilly's

TRBusiness is delighted to announce the first Sustainability Pitch session of Travel Retail...

Travel Retail Sustainability Week

TR Sustainability Week: Qatar Duty Free updates on reusable bags initiative

Thabet Musleh, Senior Vice President, Qatar Duty Free (QDF) has confirmed to TRBusiness that...


Blueprint hails True Gum GTR growth as brand gains B-Corporation status

Travel retail business development agency Blueprint is celebrating growing momentum for...

image description

In the Magazine

TRBusiness Magazine is free to access. Read the latest issue now.

E-mail this link to a friend