Frankfurt Airport’s new Pier A-Plus – the 800 metre-long westward expansion of Terminal 1 – was opened on Tuesday, giving airport operator Fraport a vast, but concentrated, retail footprint from which to accelerate sales.
Flight operations from the new pier begin on October 10, but the new 9,440sq m shopping area (plus 2,800sq m for food and beverage) – which is mostly situated in an area called the Atrium on two floors (Schengen and non-Schengen) – is accessible by passengers using the whole Pier A system, one of three (the others being B and C) in Terminal 1.
[Left: Volker Bouffier, Prime Minister of the state of Hesse cuts a giant cake modelled on the Pier A system (A-Plus in blue)]
The new €700 million (US$907m) terminal complex, which was four years in construction, now offers some 60 shops and restaurants, in the two central Atrium marketplaces, one above the other. Gebr. Heinemann’s 1,900sq m Duty Free and Travel Value store opened in July and the larger 2,200sq m unit officially opens later today. These are the first ever walk-through shops at Frankfurt and are located immediately after security.
In addition to these giant retail units, standalone shops on the Schengen level include jeweller Christ, Gant, Longchamp, Massimo Dutti, Porsche Design, Thomas Sabo, Tumi, and Wolford. On the non-Schengen level – which will cater to large numbers of Asian and North Atlantic flights there are a series of brand ‘firsts’ including Caviar House & Prunier, Dolce & Gabanna, Engelhorn, Gucci, Mulberry and German jeweller Wempe. Other luxury brands present are Hermès and Montblanc.
The extra retail is expected to significantly boost Fraport’s shopping revenues which grew by +10.6% in H1. Last year, the Retail and Real Estate segment of the business accounted for 18.8% of Fraport’s revenues, but 38.1% of EBITDA.
“The new Pier A-Plus represents a quantum leap in Fraport’s strategy to secure the competitiveness and future capabilities of Frankfurt Airport,” says Fraport Executive Board Chairman Stefan Schulte. “We’ve created additional space for up to six million passengers per year. This extra capacity will allow us to meet the traffic growth expected in the coming years and to strengthen our role as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs.
“This terminal expansion also sets new standards for the travel experience of our passengers and for terminal management. Passengers will benefit from advanced handling facilities and a wide range of shops and restaurants. Easier transferring between short-haul and long-haul flights will result in enhanced comfort of our customers.”
It is estimated that around 70% of traffic in this pier system will be transfer traffic, making it ideal for a large and higher-end retail offer. The new pier is expected to bring down the minimum connecting time for many transfer flights from 60 minutes today, to 45 minutes.
The extra six million capacity in the new pier gives Germany’s biggest hub a total capacity of approximately 65 million passengers per year. The Pier A system will be exclusively used by Deutsche Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners with Pier A-Plus providing an extra four docking positions for the Airbus A380.
Deutsche Lufthansa’s Executive Board Chairman Christoph Franz (left) comments: “With Pier A-Plus, our Frankfurt home base is again at the forefront among Europe’s major hub airports. This is good news for the German aviation industry and the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main region.”
(An in-depth analysis of the new retail offer in the Pier A system will be featured in the October TFWA Cannes issue of Travel Retail Business out soon. The current September issue can be downloaded free to an iPhone or iPad here.)