Press Releases

Airport commercial offerings must evolve in step with customer expectations

ACI World Director General speaks at this year’s Trinity Forum in Doha, Qatar

Doha, 30 October 2019 – At The Trinity Forum today in Doha, Qatar, Airports Council International (ACI) World emphasized that airports’ commercial offering must develop and evolve in step with customer expectations to ensure competitiveness and maintain customer experience.

The Trinity Forum brings together airports, concessionaires and brands to help improve understanding between these three crucial sectors and help the industry confront challenges and seize opportunities in the airport retail business for the benefit of the travelling consumer.

ACI World Director General Angela Gittens provided delegates with a global overview of airports, including new traffic forecasts and airport financials, before concluding on remarks of the event’s theme: “Re-imagining the Trinity’s role in a phygital world.”

“According to the just-released ACI Annual World Airport Traffic Forecasts (2019–2040), global passenger traffic demand will double by 2037 based on a projected growth rate of 3.8% a year,” Angela Gittens said.

“The exponential growth of air service demand promises more jobs, higher GDPs, and a wealth of social benefit, not to mention a more connected world. This will only be possible, however, if we make the necessary preparations in the short term—2040 is not far from now.”

While the industry’s financial performance grew 6.2% from the previous year, with airport worldwide earning US$172 billion in 2017, Angela Gittens explained the challenge for airports in covering their capital and operating costs.

“On average, aeronautical revenues do not fully cover capital and operating costs, and airports rely on non-aeronautical revenues for their financial viability,” she said.

“Worldwide, retail concessions remain the leading source of non-aeronautical revenue for airports, representing over 30% of the total, growing by 10.1% in 2017.

“Airports and airport retailers worldwide, must continue to forge innovative business partnerships and develop new revenue streams and commercial models that are in line with what customers are demanding. This involves embracing the digitalization of airports including the phygital.

“The border between the physical and the digital has blurred, and customers are increasingly navigating both worlds and different ways of interacting directly with businesses and purchasing goods.

“To capitalize on the potential benefits of phygital experiences, airports and stakeholders need to know who their customers are, and ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme is here to help.”

ACI’s ASQ suite of solutions provides airports with a 360-degree view of customer experience management. ACI helps close to 400 airports worldwide to manage and deliver the best experience for their customers, based on a proven expertise in airport operations, marketing research and customer experience management and delivery.

Notes for editors

  1. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2019, ACI serves 646 members, operating 1,960 airports in 176 countries.

Media contacts

Bojana Jeremic
Manager, External Relations and Special Events
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254

Sabrina Guerrieri
Manager, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1200