The right move at the right time

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

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Airport Authority Hong Kong’s decision to extend its core duty free liquor & tobacco and perfumes and cosmetics contracts as well as airside general merchandise concessions at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for another two years is precisely the right move at the right time.

The contracts, which were due to expire in the second half of 2010, will now run to 2012.

The news will be a tremendous lift for the airport’s leading concessionaires, Nuance-Watson (HK) and Sky Connection, which have been trading through painfully difficult conditions in recent months.

Airport Authority Hong Kong has rewarded its partners for their continued investment in quality during those troubled times and also added a welcome note of stability as the business climate begins what appears to be a slow rebound.

Airport Authority Hong Kong General Manager, Retail and Advertising Eva Tsang rightly noted today: “As the Asia Pacific region has shown signs of economic stabilisation, we believe that extending these contracts will provide a stable environment for our partners to develop their businesses.”

The authority will also know that tendering conditions would have not been optimum in the current climate – recent bid levels at Singapore Changi Airport, for example, underline that fact. Far better, it will have reckoned, to sit out the whole crisis with the security of tried and tested partners before returning to the market in better times.

Within the airport community, Airport Authority Hong Kong is one of the most avid believers in the ‘Trinity’ principles of closer co-operation and understanding between travel retail industry stakeholders. Today it has underlined that standing once again.

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