Duty-free arm of DAA spreads its wings to China


AER RIANTA International, the duty free arm of the Dublin Airport Authority, spread its wings this week to China.

Aer Rianta International opened 11 retail units yesterday at Kunming’s swanky new Changshui International Airport in southwest China.

The airport is nearly five times the size of Terminal 2 in Dublin and is China’s fourth biggest.

It cost an eye-watering €3.6 billion, putting the DAA’s outlay on T2 well into the shade.

The airport will process about 24 million passengers this year, rising to 70 million over time.

The shops are operating under the Loop brand, which the DAA uses in Ireland, although the corporate colour there is red rather than the green used here – green is considered an unlucky colour by the Chinese.

The majority of passengers initially will be business travellers en route to other cities in China, but there is a growing volume of leisure traffic.

Aer Rianta International’s chief executive Jack MacGowan is “confident” it can use these shops as a springboard to win “additional contracts” in China and it has established a business development team in Shenzen to source new opportunities.

Aer Rianta International is one of the few arms of the DAA growing.

In 2011, profits rose by 69 per cent to €31.8 million. It has shops across the world, including Russia, India, Canada and the Middle East.