Lagardère Travel Retail has won a master concession agreement at Saudi Arabia’s fourth busiest airport and will take control of it at the end of the year. gateway.
Current retailer ATÜ Duty Free, a joint venture between Turkey’s Unifree (controlled by Germany’s Heinemann) and global airport operator TAV Airports, has five outlets covering 13,200 square feet since 2015. holds a contract to operate
The victory at Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Medina, a major pilgrimage site, is a significant step in Lagardère’s efforts to strengthen its retail operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A rapid increase in air traffic is expected due to the government’s focus on international tourism. This is just one part of the ambitious Vision 2030 project, which is creating a new high-end tourist resort that will cost billions of dollars.
Lagardère Travel Retail, part of the media giant Lagardère Group, has seen a strong retail recovery so far this year. Last year also saw promising growth from the oil state airports where the company is located (Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam). Middle East retail sales surged almost 40% year-on-year in 2021 (down 15.5% from 2019), driven by rapid growth in Dubai (+24%) and Saudi Arabia (+48%). Air traffic recovery.
Move-in date: December 2022
At its international airport in Medina, in the western part of the country, about 138 miles from the Red Sea, Lagardère will be responsible for 14 new duty-free and retail spaces this December, bringing the total commercial area to 20,450 square feet, of which 6,600 square feet. . You will be assigned to a duty-free shop.
Lagardère declined to disclose the length of the deal in Medina or the brand that may roll out from December, but a spokesperson said: The redevelopment may develop new concepts and introduce more brands. Under Aeria Fascia, the typical duty-free categories are offered first, such as perfumes, cosmetics, travel accessories, confectionery and souvenirs.
Vincent Romet, Chief Operating Officer of Lagardère Travel Retail’s Middle East and Saudi Arabia operations, said in a statement: Saudi Arabia is a very dynamic market and we are very excited to open this new chapter. “
As Saudi Arabia diversifies away from oil, non-oil income will grow by almost 122% between 2015 and 2020, with tourism becoming a new pillar of income and investment. Last week, Hungarian low-cost carrier WizzAir, now her seventh-largest airline in Europe, approved 20 new routes to the Kingdom, one of his biggest route announcements this year.
The first flight from Europe does not include Medina, but goes to Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam airports, where Lagardère Travel Retail is located, with low one-way fares starting at $55. The move is expected to bring over a million more tourists to Saudi Arabia next year.
Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varradi has described Saudi Arabia as a “long-term strategic market” for airlines, sending a message to all international travel retailers looking to expand in the region There is no doubt about that.