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New research turns spotlight on airport business models


ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East today announced the findings of its market research on airport concession business models and non-aeronautical revenues on the opening day of the The Trinity Forum 2023 in Hong Kong.

Based on survey feedback from airport operators across the region, the research reveals that airports are giving “noteworthy consideration” to new business models that might make them more agile when it comes to responding to market fluctuations and sharing risks.

According to ACI APAC & MID, the survey also highlighted the urgent adaptation of digital and contactless solutions, with a significant share of airports observing their impact post-pandemic in operations, showcasing a rapid move towards technological integration for enhanced safety and efficiency.

Furthermore, an overwhelming emphasis on the role of robust data analytics was underscored, with sectors focusing on leveraging demographic information, travel patterns, and purchase history for optimised, customer-centric strategies and services.

Key Highlights

– Focus on cultural diversification and commercial expansion
Embracing local culture is no longer an option but a necessity, with airports around the world increasingly incorporating local vendors and cultural elements, ensuring an enriched and vibrant passenger experience and contributing significantly to non-aeronautical revenues.

Green operations: A new norm
As airports globally prioritise their ecological footprint, ‘going green’ emerges as a crucial operational cornerstone, affirming the industry’s unwavering commitment to societal and environmental responsibility. However, there is a need to adopt ESG considerations in decision-making and increase waste management and renewable energy initiatives.

– Diversification of commercial offerings
Airports are adapting to the evolving needs of travellers by incorporating cultural diversity and tailored retail options. There is ample opportunity for airports to further expand the retail and F&B options and incorporate technology and accessibility features.

Embracing the digital transformation
Technology, including AI-powered shopping platforms and digital advertising, is revolutionising airport operations, enhancing customer experiences, and optimising non-aeronautical revenue streams. Developing data-sharing partnerships with airlines and retailers can go a long way towards augmenting commercial revenues.

Data-driven decision-making for enhanced customer experiences
A deep dive into the efficient utilisation of collected data for strategic decision-making will underscore the industry’s shift towards customer-centric approaches, ensuring tailored and seamless passenger experiences.

Commenting on the findings, Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East, said: “The insights from this extensive survey provide a critical framework for airport authorities and concessionaires, guiding them in their strategic planning and operational enhancements to navigate the evolving industry landscape.

“Considering these illuminating insights, it becomes unequivocally clear that commercial revenues are not merely a supplementary strand of airport finance but a critical lifeline.

“Their augmentation and astute management pave the unyielding pathways that help the aviation sector soar resiliently amidst the shifting skies of global economics and market trends.”

ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East is one of the co-organisers of the event, along with The Moodie Davitt Report and ACI World.

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