‘Oh power of Scotland’ – or ‘How to raise the average spend’

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


Two of the industry’s great characters, great influences and great Scots, Aer Rianta International’s Bill Maxwell (left) and Emirates Duty Free Manager John Sime celebrated long into the night after the Frontier Awards in Cannes. This followed the success of Emirates in winning Best Partnership Initiative of the Year for its remarkable alliance with German luxury writing instruments to accessories house Montblanc.

Only the bagpipes were missing as the tones of ‘Oh Flower of Scotland’ rang loud into the French Riviera night.

Oh Flower of Scotland,
When will we see your like again?
That fought and died for,
Your wee bit Hill and Glen

And stood against him,
Proud Edward’s Army.
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

It was a promotion that showed the travel retail industry at its best. Emirates and Montblanc conducted a unique inflight charity auction, together with Montblanc’s Dubai-based travel retail representative, Visions FZCO.

Passengers onboard Emirates flights between March and May were invited to take part in the auction featuring the ‘ultimate watch’ – a Montblanc centennial automatic chronograph in 18ct gold, showcasing the Montblanc logo set with black and white diamonds. The prize for the winning bid includes a first-class trip onboard Emirates to Le Locle, the home of Switzerland’s watchmaking industry since 1705.

All the proceeds from the auction, including the cost of manufacturing the watch, will be donated to the EK Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing and loving environment and a better quality of life for children in need across the world.

The winner, Ugandan national H.E. Michael Mulyoowa, paid an amazing US$250,000 for the watch.

Noted John Sime: “The promotion was a great success and attracted nearly 40 quality bids with over a dozen of these being in excess of US$100,000. I can’t think of another transaction within our industry that has been a quarter of a million dollars for a single item.”

Indeed. To (nearly) quote the song, “When will we see the likes again?”

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  • Thats the same Michael-Ezra Mulyoowa that wanted to buy Leeds FC at 60 million pounds! He’s Ugandan but he’s a complete mystery here, though he’s a big christian philanthropist, giving millions of dollars every year to Ugandan charities and he’s young too (he’s 32).