A metaphor for India at Mumbai International T2

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Mumbai International was one of the big winners in ACI’s 2015 Airport Service Quality Awards – alongside fellow Indian airport Delhi, it topped the 25-40 million passenger rankings – and a walk through the magnificent two-year-old T2 offers some insights into the reasons why.

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Readers will be familiar with the soaring art walls that adorn both Arrivals and Departures, as above, but there’s so much more to discover here.

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Mumbai Duty Free makes a big statement about the quality of retail in Indian airport Departures, from the store design to the striking brand fixturing and shop-in-shops, notably in spirits & wines. That is typified by the launch of Luxe Boutique by Mumbai Duty Free and Pernod Ricard but also exemplified by Johnnie Walker House and The Whiskey Collection. There’s room to grow in categories such as P&C, which is already the biggest category in Departures.

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With the quality of retailing here today, with Indians now becoming aware of the duty free opportunity in Departures, added to the online pre-order push from the retailer to encourage sales to remain at home, a bullish Flemingo CEO Atul Ahuja says that the business can at least quadruple in the next four years. “The potential is still largely untapped, and India is the only major market in the world you can say that about.”

From what I saw on my visit, the standard is rising sharply, not only in duty free but also in speciality retail and food & beverage. Some of the big downtown brands in each of these channels (pictured below) are discovering the potential of the airport. And through them, Mumbai T2 is becoming a reflection of an emerging and changing India: a place increasingly confident in itself, in its brands, in its service quality and in its future.

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The lattice work design evokes a strong Sense of Place not only within duty free but across the airport’s interior at T2

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