Luton Airport seeks EOIs for key duty free contract

By Kevin Rozario |

The fifth busiest airport in the UK is seeking expressions of interest (EOI) for a concession to operate tax and duty free stores at its passenger terminal. The incumbent is Aelia UK, part of Paris-based LS Travel Retail.

 

London Luton Airport (LTN), which processed 9.7m passengers last year, says that the winner of the tender will operate in the airport’s remodelled terminal building (pictured right); which forms a major part of a £100m ($169m) redevelopment programme for which planning consent was given earlier this month.

 

The project is designed to increase annual passenger capacity from 12m currently to 18m by 2031. The airport’s biggest airline tenant is easyJet.

 

LTN’s Commercial Director Rupert Lawrie (left), says: “Following the development of the airport, the jewel in our retail portfolio will be a ‘state of the art’ duty paid/duty free offer that will elevate the passenger experience to a new level. This, combined with our other retail and catering innovations, will ensure passengers enjoy a world class retail environment.”

 

€1BN ($1.34BN) PLAYERS ONLY

Based on the criteria that LTN is setting out, it is only looking for large DF&TR operators for the concession which starts from October 2015.

 

The tender is only open to applicants whose core business is the operation of DF&TR stores at airports with an annual turnover of at least €1bn (or equivalent) in each of the past three years. They must also demonstrate that they have the operational and logistical capability to run the concession at LTN.

 

EOIs must be registered by 15 August by email to [email protected].

 

Last year, Luton Airport was divested by Spanish infrastructure group Abertis as it sought to offload its airport interests. In a deal worth €502m ($762m), LTN is now under the control of Spanish airports operator Aena, and the infrastructure fund of Ardian, a private investment company. At Aena’s gateways in Spain the DF&TR operator is World Duty Free Group.

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