Monday 23 October 2017

Aer Rianta International (ARI) secures major new contract to operate duty free at New Zealand’s Auckland airport

Auckland in New Zealand
Auckland in New Zealand
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Aer Rianta International (ARI) has secured a major new contract to operate a duty free concession at New Zealand’s main airport in Auckland.

The seven-year concession starts in July and is the first win for ARI in Australasia. ARI is a subsidiary of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).

Auckland International Airport handles about 15m passengers a year and is served by more than 20 international airlines. More than 70pc of all visitors to New Zealand enter via the airport. Duty free facilities at the airport generate about 63pc of retail income for the company that operates the airport.

ARI chief executive Jack MacGowan described the win as “very significant”. ARI will employ about 230 staff at the concession.

“We had to pitch against the best in the world in the competition process for this contract,” he said.

Ten companies originally expressed an interest in the duty free concessions, with six companies making formal bids.

Auckland Airport announced last April that it would seek to renew its two duty free contracts as the existing contracts were due to expire. ARI has secured one contract that extends over 2,300 sq m of retail space.

The incumbents were Australian firm JR/Duty Free, and DFS Group, which was founded by Irish American billionaire Chuck Feeney. He has donated about €1bn to Irish educational institutions.

Mr MacGowan said ARI will introduce new concepts to the duty free in Auckland.

The airport is spending NZ$125m (€83m) to expand its outbound international retail and emigration areas.

ARI also operates duty free facilities in countries including Canada, India, Cyprus, Bahrain, as well as Ireland.

It has a managed turnover in excess of €877m and employs more than 3,500 people worldwide.

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