Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Airports see uptick in retail sales, line up sweeteners for passengers

Mumbai: Private airports are seeing a gradual improvement in retail sales and lining up incentives, anticipating higher passenger footfall during the upcoming Dussehra and Diwali festivals.

These would include passenger engagement initiatives, consumer offers, and curated menus at food and beverage (F&B) outlets.

“We have witnessed encouraging trends in passenger footfalls as well as spends in the past few months since the resumption of air travel,” said a Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) spokesperson.

Sales have recovered owing to the opening of new outlets and incentives to encourage passengers to shop and dine at airports.

Two new F&B outlets (Starbucks and Aubree) opened at Bengaluru airport in recent weeks while the Haagen Dazs pop-up store is expected soon. The airport is signing up more brands for its retail and F&B plaza, the spokesperson said.

Bengaluru airport ran a month-long tax-free campaign till mid-September, footing the goods and service tax bill on all passenger spends during the period.

Income from retail outlets, duty-free stores, F&B sales, car parking, and advertising is treated as non-aeronautical revenue. It accounted for 50-55 per cent of the revenues of Delhi and Bengaluru airports in the last financial year.

While the lockdown affected the business, a gradual increase in flights is aiding traffic and revenue growth at airports. Domestic passenger footfalls across India are trending at more than 150,000 since the start of the month.

“Government intervention in the form of a phased unlock process, coupled with the civil aviation ministry permitting airlines to deploy up to 75 per cent capacity, is resulting in a gradual improvement in footfalls and spend per passenger on a month-to-month basis,” said a spokesperson for the GMR group, which operates Delhi and Hyderabad airports. Both BIAL and GMR group declined to share their sales figures.

14/10/20 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

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