How Daxing redefined the power of possibility in the aviation world

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

I’m back in Beijing, just four weeks since my last visit and on one of many sojourns I’ve made to the Chinese capital in the past few months.

Things move fast in Chinese aviation and travel retail circles and that’s certainly the case at the wondrous new Beijing gateway of Daxing International Airport.

Daxing is a modern-day wonder of the world. Not just of the aviation world. Of the world.

When I first visited the airport on my last visit, I noted, “The risk in describing Daxing is that you might run out of superlatives. It is an extraordinary testament to architectural genius; and a statement that airports can be beautiful as well as functional, soul-enriching while commercial and efficient.” I repeated those words in my opening address at The Trinity Forum in Doha and, as they fit the bill, I feel no need to rephrase them here.

Daxing is a modern-day wonder of the world. Not just of the aviation world. Of the world.

On my last visit, the China Duty Free Group (CDFG) stores in the international zone were open but awaiting final stocks and brand personalisation. All that has changed over the past month. I was privileged yesterday to be the sole media representative at the official inauguration of the impressive CDFG retail footprint.

The stylish offer, unsurprisingly, is beauty led and there’s no doubt that it will be geared up as international traffic (very limited for now) starts to kick in over coming months as various airlines start to transfer their services from Beijing Capital International Airport.

I watched the pride on the faces of CDFG President Charles Chen, his team and the airport management yesterday as they had their photos taken against surely the most spectacular backdrop in the aviation world. I was proud to be there too. You feel you are experiencing a moment in history. The airport is simply that remarkable.

This must rank among my favourite images of my 32-year career in travel retail. Charles Chen and I started in the business in the same year, 1987. Our careers have developed along different tangents but we have remained close over more than three decades. I am thrilled about his success, a testimony to hard work, integrity, professionalism and passion. I deliberately asked the photographer using my iPhone not to zoom in so we could capture the full breathtaking backdrop and the splendid sight of the Chinese flag hovering above us.

I share with you below some pictures snapped on my iPhone and by the CDFG photographer during a tour of both the international and domestic zones yesterday. They tell their own amazing story. Quite simply, this airport has redefined the power of possibility in our industry.

It was really nice to spend some quality time with CDFG Vice President of Central Merchandising Division, Fashion & Accessories and Watches & Jewellery Mei Li Lee, a fund of knowledge on her categories and travel retail in general
So my friend, can you recommend a good Beijing hairdresser?

  • WOW…what an amazing looking facility. Beautiful and apparently functional. I hope that CDFG will someday share information on how productive it is as further proof of the fact that beauty and functionality are not mutually exclusive.

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