‘Adapt & Survive’ video series: Michael Payne, President & CEO, IAADFS

By Luke Barras-hill |

ADAPT AND SURVIVE Michael Payne IAADFS- 460x306While retail concessionaires are believed to have benefitted indirectly from the federal government’s $10 billion capital injection to assist US airports, IAADFS continues to push hard for more targeted provision for its members during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

Speaking to TRBusiness from Charleston in South Carolina where he is holed up temporarily with some of his family, IAADFS President and CEO Michael Payne says the association’s focus during the pandemic thus far has been threefold [click below for video].

Firstly, it has engaged with the likes of Airports Council International – North America (which also includes Canada) to alleviate guarantee payment issues that have hit most retail operators.

Secondly, the association continues to help airport partners negotiate some of the government’s available fiscal support options.

While $10bn in grant funding available through the Federal Aviation Administration’s programme will not have directly benefitted retailers, capital payments to airports may have helped concessionaires secure minimum annual guarantee (MAG) forgiveness, deferred payments or switches to a percentage sales arrangement.

As such, IAADFS is hoping a next funding round will offer an opportunity to push for more targeted concessionaire relief.

Thirdly, a question surrounding the road to recovery and what that looks like for shops has been raised, given what is expected to be a sluggish return in international traffic volumes.

The US is the worst hit country from Covid-19; confirmed case counts surpassed one million this week and more than 60,000 people have lost their lives.

Payne updates that airport stores are essentially closed and processing few passengers, the exception being some domestic travellers.

“All the numbers are bad: flights, revenue, business – it’s the same here [in the US] as everywhere else. It’s incredible that you’ve had more or less the whole air transport system shutdown.”

Elsewhere, he looks ahead to next year’s Summit of the Americas due to take place on 11-14 April.

Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.

The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.

To register your interest in the Adapt and Survive series, please contact one of the editorial team at the following addresses: [email protected][email protected][email protected].


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