Alan Edwards passes away

By Doug Newhouse |

It is with great regret that The Business reports the untimely death of Alan Edwards, 56, Senior Retail Advisor at Qatar Duty Free in Doha, Qatar.


Alan passed away after a heart attack last Saturday after being found in his apartment by concerned colleagues after he failed to show up for work.


The sad news has since been related to Alan’s family by his employer Aer Rianta International, for whom he had worked as a consultant with Qatar Duty Free in Doha since March 2011.


Philip Eckles, CEO of Aer Rianta International echoed the thoughts of many when he said how shocked everyone was at ARI, while he added that the thoughts and prayers of all who knew him are now with Alan’s wife Lesley and their family.


In his tribute to Alan, Philip Eckles said: “Alan was a popular and respected colleague who was well known within the duty free industry and had worked with a number of organisations stretching back some 30 years, including Alpha, Heinemann-Scorpio, Virgin Atlantic and ARI.


“Those who knew Alan will remember him not only as a dedicated and consummate professional, but also as one of the most convivial characters of our industry.”



Eckles’ description of Alan Edwards certainly tallies with The Business’ recollection of the man who was always fair minded, bright, friendly, passionate and very intelligent. (Shown above: just some of the organisations that Alan Edwards worked for during his time in duty free and travel retail).


Doug Newhouse comments: “I have known Alan since he worked for Virgin Atlantic back in the early nineties and he has always been a very principled man with a very deep understanding of the airline business in particular.


“He was very well liked and respected for his knowledge as much as his keen sense of humour and he will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Our sympathies go out to his family, many friends and colleagues at this time.”


Alan Edwards’ DF&TR career:


Senior Retail Advisor, Qatar Duty Free.

March 2011 – Present (1 year, 7 months) Doha, Qatar.


Group Business Development Director, Board member & Consultant, Heinemann Scorpio International Holdings Ltd.

June 2007 – March 2011 (3 years, 10 months).


Communications Executive Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association.

May 2006 – May 2007 (1 year, 1 month) Sri Lanka.

A one-year secondment to APTRA representing the association in all matters on the Liquid and Gel (LAG’S) crisis. In this time he worked with ICAO, ACI World AAPA and airport and transport authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.


Buying Controller, Alpha Airports Group – Orient Lanka.

May 2005 – July 2006 (1 year, 3 months).

Head of buying – for Asian region (Sri Lanka, India and Nepal).


Head of Inflight, Aer Rianta International Middle East.

September 2002 – June 2005 (2 years, 10 months) Bahrain.

Launched the new inflight division on behalf of Bahrain Duty Free (ARIME management contract) for Gulf Air.


Director/Consultant Asia & Pacific rim, Alpha Onboard Sales & Services.

May 1997 – June 2002 (5 years, 2 months) UK & Malaysia.

Responsible for group buying and management of concessionaire airlines in Asia and Pacific regions.


Head of retail – Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

October 1993 – May 1997 (3 years, 8 months) Crawley.

Fully responsible for management of in-flight retail operation and a team of 25 staff.


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