Aer Rianta wins New Zealand duty free deal
Aer Rianta International (ARI) has secured a 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 Australia or Asia. ARI is a subsidiary of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
Auckland International Airport handles about 15 million 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 at the airport generates 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, founded by billionaire Chuck Feeney who has donated €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 operates in Canada, India, Cyprus, Bahrain, as well as Ireland. Turnover is more than €877m and it employs more than 3,500 people worldwide.