AIRPORTS IN THE NEWS

AIRPORTS IN THE NEWS

  • 12-06-2019
    Brand new brands
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    Brand new brands

    Dubai International Airport and London City Airport tell us more about their new brand identities and the motivation behind their decisions.

    Dubai Airports has unveiled a new brand for Dubai International Airport (DXB) that it says signifies the company’s transition from airport operator to a consumer led firm “committed to making the world’s busiest international airport, the world’s best”.

    The brand launch event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports; and Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

    According to Dubai Airports, the new brand embodies the unique values of its home city, demonstrating unmatched hospitality, a culture of vibrant imagination, openness to new ideas, and a mesmerising mosaic of exciting and inspiring experiences.

    It says: “It will transform DXB into a destination in itself by creating exciting, immersive virtual experiences that bring iconic Dubai landmarks into the airport as well as an array of music, art, dance and even fashion exhibitions that showcase local culture and celebrate diversity. DXB will also feature zones throughout the airport’s concourses that cluster together retail, F&B and themed attractions to cater to DXB’s diverse customer base.”

    His Highness Sheikh Ahmed commented: “In Dubai, we continuously strive to be at the forefront of the industry globally and to lead the way with unwavering ambition, innovation and timely investment.

    “Aviation, tourism and travel have been fundamental in Dubai’s growth story and we believe this investment will yield further dividends by encouraging repeat traffic and enticing connecting passengers to visit Dubai. We are making a clear statement that will ensure DXB continues to be one of the world’s most innovative and forward-thinking airports for years to come.”

    Griffiths enthused: “We are proud to launch the new DXB brand to reflect the fresh direction and truly transform DXB into the airport of the future, one that is led by a more customer-centric approach, that incorporates the hospitality, excitement, warmth and true spirit of Dubai.

    “The new brand represents the ways in which we connect the world, not only by physically facilitating access to over 220 destinations around the world, but by transporting our customers through their experience of different cultures, food, music and art. This is what DXB, Dubai and the UAE are all about, and what our new brand will represent moving forward.”

    Meanwhile in Europe, London City Airport (LCY), has unveiled a bold new brand identity, which it claims reflects a more dynamic, vibrant and contemporary look, synonymous with modern London.

    The transformed design, which utilises vivid colours, creative layout, and a heart motif, is said to reinforce LCY’s role as London’s most central airport – at the heart of the city and an airport which many passengers love to use.

    The step-change comes as the airport continues to grow and appeal to a changing mix of passengers, particularly leisure travellers and East Londoners, joining the established business traveller base.

    According to LCY, the vivid blue colour used in the logo represents the unique location of London City Airport, right in the heart of London’s historic Royal Docks in Newham, close to the River Thames, the iconic waterway that has served London for thousands of years.

    Use of vivid green represents the many parks and green spaces in London, and combined, the use of bright colours confirms a real departure from the conservative grey and blue combination, which the new brand replaces.

    The new identity comes during a £500 million four-year development programme, which will transform the airport and make the experience of travelling to and from London even better.

    Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport, notes: “With our development programme now underway, we have an amazing opportunity to develop an airport experience that truly reflects modern London.

    “Along with the design of our new airport, this new brand identity will help us reflect everything that is great about London, celebrate its pre-eminent position as a truly international city, broaden our appeal to different types of passengers and make the experience of London even better for those visiting the capital, for business or leisure.”

  • 07-06-2019
    Luxottica releases duo of travel retail-exclusive Ray-Bans
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    The sunglasses are now available in travel retail across Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa and the Americas

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  • 07-06-2019
    Rome Fiumicino awarded CEIV Pharma Certification
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    Rome Fiumicino awarded CEIV Pharma Certification

    Rome Fiumicino (FCO) has become the first airport in Italy to earn IATA CEIV Pharma certification.

    It obtained the certification in a community approach together with its air cargo supply chain partners.

    IATA CEIV pharma certification is industry recognition in support of the air transport industry complying with pharmaceutical manufacturers’ shipping requirements.

    The certification ensures that the FCO airport community meets the highest global standard for transporting pharmaceutical products by air, complying with existing national and international regulations. 
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    It helps to build the air cargo connectivity of the Rome Metro Region with the rest of the world.

    Cargo business at Fiumicino airport closed out 2018 with a growth of 11% compared to 2017, brushing the milestone of 200,000 tonnes handled. 

    A significant portion of this cargo traffic includes precisely pharmaceutical products, a leading sector in terms of the value of the cargo imported/exported through the airport, which travel primarily from and to North America, but also the far East and South America.

    Aeroporti di Roma (ADR) chief comercial officer, Fausto Palombelli, says: “The Lazio pharmaceutical district, the second largest in Italy and one of the major European production hubs, is growing constantly. 

    "The development of Fiumicino as a cargo traffic hub is therefore a driving force for the economy of the territory and the entire country system.
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    “This certification is a testament to the commitment and the proactive role of ADR in the economic development of the supply chain.”

    IATA's regional director for Europe for airport, passenger, cargo and security, notes: “The European freight market is one of the largest in the world, accounting for close to a quarter of total global trade. 

    "Having Rome Fiumicino Airport, one of the region’s major pharma hubs, achieve CEIV Pharma Certification is a significant boost for meeting shippers’ expectations in terms of standardization and transparency across the supply chain in the region."

  • 07-06-2019
    Scotland's first minister opens Edinburgh's terminal expansion
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    Scotland's first minister opens Edinburgh's terminal expansion

    Edinburgh Airport’s £75 million terminal expansion, the biggest project in a generation at the gateway, was officially opened today by Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

    Part of a wider £200 million investment programme at Scotland’s busiest airport, the airport claims that the expansion enhances its connectivity options and will support passenger growth to twenty million passengers.

    The project delivers new gates, new aircraft stands and new international and domestic passenger arrivals halls, as well as new baggage reclaim areas and an extended immigration hall.

    It also has new retail and food and beverage outlets, including the world’s first BrewDog airport bar.
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    It’s the start of a larger programme ofinvestment in key terminal and airfield facilities over the next five years, with almost £300 million being spent on a new baggage system, more new stands, improved check-in facilities and a new access road.

    The First Minister received a tour of the terminal expansion from Gordon Dewar, the airport’s Chief Executive. She also spoke to staff and passengers in the special assistance seating area which was designed with the help of users.

    Sturgeon said: “I am delighted to open this terminal expansion, further establishing Edinburgh Airport as a gateway to Scotland from the rest of the UK and internationally. 

    “Edinburgh Airport not only supports our business and tourism sectors but employs 700 people directly and 7,000 through partner businesses – I was particularly pleased to meet engineering apprentices who are learning their trade in a fast-paced environment such as aviation.
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    “This £75 million investment will future-proof the airport for continued growth. As an outward looking nation, it is now more important than ever that we enhance connectivity with our European partners and with the rest of the world.”   

    Dewar, noted: “This is, of course, an investment in Edinburgh Airport but it’s also an investment in Scotland’s economy and future as we are a facilitator of many things, from business and tourism to culture and education.

    “More than 14 million people come through our doors every year and we have invested to accommodate even more as more and more people choose air travel to come to Scotland or to visit the world around us.

    "We want that experience to be as positive as possible and this expansion provides greater options, including the ability to achieve greater connectivity."

     

     

     

  • 04-06-2019
    ACI heralds new era for slot allocation at airports
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    ACI heralds new era for slot allocation at airports

    ACI World, IATA and the Worldwide Airport Coordinators Group (WWACG) today announced the agreement of a new governance structure for the Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG). 

    Airport operators, airlines, and slot co-ordinators will now play an equal role in determining the global guidelines for the allocation of airport slots.

    It is believed that the new agreement puts the interests of the travelling public at the centre of the process.

    More than 200 airports require slot co-ordination because they have insufficient capacity to meet demand at all times of the day.

    Co-ordination based on global standards helps to maximize utilisation of existing capacity, avoid delays and improve the passenger experience.
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    The new industry-wide governance was signed today in Seoul, South Korea, by ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, and WWACG chairman, Eric Herbane. 


    All parties agreed that new governance and increased collaboration provides an opportunity to further modernise slot allocation mechanisms to the benefit of the travelling public and the aviation community at large.

    “This new agreement on airport slots will have a transformative effect on a crucial component of the air transport industry and is a result of close collaboration between ACI and its global partners, IATA and the WWACG,” enthused Gittens.
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    “ACI and IATA forecasts show that global traffic will double by the 2030s. This highlights the need for airports and airlines to make best use of existing infrastructure as well as plan for new infrastructure. 


    "This fully reformed governance sets the ideal ground to regularly review the slot allocation process with the appropriate level of ambition and in line with an increasingly competitive and highly connected global network.”

    IATA's de Juniac said the new guidelines would make slot allocation even more responsive to changing needs of the market.

    “For more than 40 years, the Worldwide Slots Guidelines has managed scarce airport capacity fairly, transparently and independently,” he said.
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    “This has enabled airlines to make network investments with certainty. But, more importantly, it has benefitted consumers by ensuring schedule reliability while enhancing competition by providing opportunities for new entrants in even the most congested airports.

    “By working together with ACI and WWACG the time-tested WSG will become even more responsive to evolving market needs. But it is vital that policy-makers remember insufficient capacity to meet demand forfeits economic opportunities.

    "The new WSG governance will make the best use of what we have – but it is no substitute for investing in modern airports and air traffic management.”

    WWACG's Herbane noted: "It is of the utmost importance that the scarce airport capacity available is allocated in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory way.

    “Our international airport co-ordinators and facilitators association welcomes this new WSG governance that now brings together as equal partners, the three main industry stakeholders representing capacity providers and capacity users of an airport together with those in charge of the capacity allocation with the same goal to ensure the industry airport slot allocation best practices meet the needs of the passengers."

  • 04-06-2019
    Northern light
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    Northern light

    Helsinki Airport director, Joni Sundelin, tells Joe Bates more about the ongoing development of his gateway as it looks to cement its status as northern Europe’s transfer hub to Asia.

    Helsinki Airport recorded double digit growth in 2018 when an all-time high of 20.8 million passengers (+10.4%) passed through its facilities.

    The upturn follows an impressive 9.9% rise in 2017 and a 50% increase in passengers over the last decade, which perhaps best explains why the airport is in the midst of a €1 billion development programme to raise its capacity to 30 million passengers per annum.

    The biggest capital development programme in its history effectively started with the 2017 opening of its South Pier, and by the time it ends in 2022, the terminal space at Finland’s capital city gateway will have increased 45% in size through a series of expansion projects.

    The key projects of the upgrade include the expansion and revamp of both its terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) and the addition of new transfer traffic enhancing South and West piers.

    In this respect, 2019 is a pivotal year for Helsinki Airport (HEL) as its new ‘Aukio’ central plaza opened in February and the extension to the short-haul Schengen area of Terminal 1 was completed in April.

    Next up, the first half of its new West Pier will be unveiled in May – with the remainder set to open in October – and a bigger and more passenger friendly immigration control area will follow before the end of the year.

    Elsewhere, construction work began in January on a planned new “iconic entrance” to Terminal 2 and the creation of new Departure and Arrivals halls for Schengen passengers, with both projects expected to be completed in 2021.

    “Our strategy is to be the leading airport in northern Europe for transfer traffic, especially between Europe and Asia, and the development programme will raise our transfer capacity to allow us to achieve this goal,” says Helsinki Airport director, Joni Sundelin.

    “The expansion programme will double the number of gates built for widebody aircraft from 9 to 18 and transform the whole terminal area to further enhance the airport experience for our passengers.”

    In terms of enhancing the airport experience, Sundelin is particularly proud of the new security area that transfer passengers have to pass through before reaching HEL’s Aukio central plaza, which he believes has set the benchmark for others to follow.

    “I rate it highly and believe it is one of the best new airport security areas in the world,” states Sundelin. “It is spacious, full of light and features special architecture and, most importantly, state-of-the-art security technologies.

    “It has also allowed us to double our capacity for screening transfer passengers from around 140 passengers per line per hour to between 280 to 320 per hour. This is quite significant.”

     

    New Aukio central plaza

    The latest addition to the airport’s facilities is the impressive ‘Aukio’ central plaza, which is the new Nordic-designed heart of Helsinki Airport and a place for passengers to congregate, sit and relax or be entertained before catching flights.

    Located between the South and the West piers and surrounded by shops and F&B outlets, Aukio – which is Finnish for plaza – features a wooden floor and modern seating and is circled by a 360-degree video screen playing films showcasing the beauty of Finland.

    Sundelin, for one, is confident that it offers a unique sense of place that will leave visitors with memorable first and last impressions of Finland.

    New F&B additions around it include Finland’s first Ajisen Ramen, Jamie’s Deli and Moomin Coffee outlets, which according to Finavia complement the airport’s wide range of other F&B outlets and ensure a good mix of international and local brands.

    The new outlets mean that the airport now has a total of 41 speciality stores (retail and convenience), four duty free shops and 31 cafes and restaurants spread across an area of 3,100sqm.

    “The driving forces of all the restaurants at Helsinki Airport are diversity and quality,” notes Sundelin. “As an international airport, we pay attention to the needs and preferences of many different nationalities, while, at the same time, highlighting Finnishness in our choices.

    “Many of the restaurant concepts that we have created in co-operation with the restaurant operators reflect the locality and natural character also in their food selection.”

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    Terminal 2 revamp

    Talking about the modernisation and expansion of Terminal 2, Sundelin says: “We are building an expansion to house check-in, security control, baggage drop and an area for greeting passengers.

    “As a result, the current Departure and Arrivals halls of Terminal 2 will undergo a complete transformation and become part of the gate area. This means the airport will have plenty more space for passengers and more opportunities to make its service offering more diverse.”

    The new-look Terminal 2 building will have a floor area of approximately 40,000 square metres that includes new check-in and baggage drop facilities, security control and a multi-modal travel centre.

    In addition to the terminal expansion, a new parking hall will be constructed with 1,800 extra parking spaces. There will also be a new a 4,500sqm zone for taxis and a 6,500sqm area for buses.

    A host of companies working on the project, which is being partially being funded by the European Union, include Finavia, SRV and the expansion design team ALA Architects, HKP Architects and Ramboll Finland.

     

    Route development

    As previously mentioned, the expansion programme is necessary because of rising traffic demand, which Sundelin attributes to the growth in international transit traffic, the attractiveness of Finland as a travel destination and an upswing in air travel by Finns.

    “If we are looking at international traffic, we have had double-digit growth for the last three years, which makes Helsinki one of the fastest growing major airports in Europe, behind only Heathrow in 2018,” enthuses Sundelin.

    “All areas of our operations have grown. The majority of traffic is still within Europe, but Asian transit traffic, in particular, has been growing more rapidly than expected, and helped us cement our status as a hub for transit traffic between Europe and Asia.”

    Not surprisingly, national flag carrier, Finnair, currently accounts for 65% of the traffic at Helsinki Airport and 95% of all transfer passengers, which make up 35% of the annual total.

    The next biggest operators in terms of market share are Norwegian (15%), SAS (3%) and Lufthansa (3%), and Sundelin is quick to point out the positive impact that the former has had on long-haul traffic out of Helsinki.

    “Norwegian has made a significant impact, particularly to the US, where it serves 13 destinations,” notes Sundelin. “As an airport we continue to add destinations in the United States, and the services from the East Coast and Midwest to Helsinki offer the fastest routes to Asia from the US.”

    Helsinki’s unique selling point is that it offers the fastest flying times between Europe and Asia and, for passengers going west, rapid onward connections to the UK and Mainland Europe, and this is something that it actively promotes when talking to Asian and Middle Eastern carriers about the possibility of them launching new services to Helsinki.

    Indeed, Sundelin notes that the airport is very proactive when it comes to expanding Helsinki’s route network, and its route development team has enjoyed considerable success in recent years either through new route launches or persuading carriers to increase frequencies to existing destinations.

    As if to prove the point, three new airlines (Air Serbia and Chinese carriers Tibet Airlines and Juneyao Air) launched operations to Helsinki this summer, following in the footprints of carriers such as FlyDubai, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines which have all either launched services or heavily increased frequencies to HEL in the last couple of years.

    He reminds me that Japan Airlines now operates three daily flights to Tokyo and that when Finnair starts flights to Sapporo in December, they will each offer five services to five Japanese cities, making HEL one of Europe’s best-connected gateways to Japan.

    Another interesting statistic is that 75% of all passengers from the Chinese market – served by three airlines operating non-stop routes to eight destinations this summer – transit through Helsinki.

    “We have been working heavily on the route development side for the last four or five years and are beginning to reap the rewards,” adds Sundelin.

    Its continually expanding international route network means that international traffic now accounts for 90% of all passengers at the airport and domestic services for roughly 10%.

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    Customer service

    Sundelin confirms that operator, Finavia, takes customer service very seriously, so he is absolutely delighted by HEL’s success in ACI’s 2018 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer experience awards.

    Helsinki finished equal top with Athens and Prague for the Best Airport in Europe in the 15-25mppa category in the ASQ Departures Awards, and he believes that HEL’s success is down to Finavia’s “strong passenger focus”.

    “Our customer service promise is ‘smooth travelling’, and that means that we strive to put the customer first in everything we do, and that includes the planning, design and operation of all new facilities,” says Sundelin.

    Arguably another reason for the airport’s popularity is its passenger-friendly size, because although it officially has two terminals with two different entrances, it is actually one building divided into two inter-connected sections, so everything is effectively under one roof and walking distances are short.

    Sundelin agrees, assuring me: “We are determined to maintain our competitive advantages such as short distances, easy access to services and world-class service standards even as the number of passengers continues to rise.”

    So, Finavia has a very clear plan for Helsinki Airport going forward and is unambiguous in its desire to hold onto and grow its status as a key transfer hub for northern Europe. With new infrastructure coming onboard and an expanding route network, who would be bold enough to bet against it achieving its goals?

  • 27-05-2019
    Fraport increases stake in Lima airport operator
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    Fraport increases stake in Lima airport operator

    Global airport operator, Fraport AG, has expanded its stake in Peru's Jorge Chavez International Airport by acquiring an additional 10% stake in Lima Airport Partners (LAP).

    The acquisition, from AC Capitales’ Infrastructure Fund, raises Fraport’s majority ownership in LAP to 80.01%.

    Fraport simply notes that the deal strengthens its position as LAP’s main shareholder and airport operator during an important expansion and growth phase for Lima airport.

    The planned expansion programme comprises a second runway, a new passenger terminal, as well as related facilities and infrastructure.

    LAP’s concession to operate and manage Lima Airport began in 2001, when Lima Airport served about 4.1 million passengers.

    In 2018, Lima Airport welcomed 22.1 million passengers, up 7.3% year-on-year.

    Serving as a popular hub in South America, Lima Airport has been honored as the “Skytrax Best Airport in South America” a total of nine times (including for 2019).

  • 27-05-2019
    Calling all future leaders: Talent of Tomorrow 2019 is open for nominations
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    New to the Talent of Tomorrow Award 2019 is the Talent of Tomorrow, Leadership Development Programme.

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  • 27-05-2019
    Pulkovo Airport renovating commercial area in domestic departures hall
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    Northern Capital Gateway, the operator of Pulkovo St. Petersburg Airport, has commenced modernisation of the domestic departures hall commercial area. The project includes renovation of outlets’ concept and creation of a new DutyPaid store, through which passengers will pass to the gates. Northern Capital Gateway, the operator of Pulkovo St. Petersburg Airport, has commenced modernisation […]

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  • 27-05-2019
    Biometric boarding successfully piloted at Ljubljana Airport
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    A biometric boarding pilot at Ljubljana Airport, involving Amadeus, Adria Airways and LOT Polish Airlines, reduced the average boarding time by approximately 75%. The successful trial paves the way for a common biometric solution, making check-in, security and boarding easier. With passenger numbers on the rise year-on-year, airport infrastructure is being pushed to its limits […]

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