Global Airports Survey 2012-2013

Global Airports Industry Survey: 51% of Respondents Are More Optimistic About Revenue Growth

Farmington, CT, March 01, 2012 --( Global Information Inc. is pleased to announce a new market research report, "Global Airports Survey 2012-2013: Market Trends, Buyer Spend and Procurement Strategies in the Global Airports Industry" by ICD Research.

Within the global airports industry, 51% of respondents are more optimistic about revenue growth for their companies over the next 12 months relative to the previous 12 months, 22% of respondents are less optimistic, and 22% expect no change. The chief reasons for this revenue optimism include consolidation in the industry, the inclusion of various ancillary revenue sources and technological upgrades, all of which are projected to increase the profitability and cost performance of airport operators in 2012. For example, Changi Airport, based in Singapore, recorded a year-on-year retail sales revenue growth of 16% in 2011, with similar growth expected in 2012. Interestingly, revenues from the commercial segment of the airport accounted for more than half of its overall revenue, with Changi Airport managing to overcome a decline in traveller frequency by promoting itself as an attractive shopping destination to passengers and locals and increasing retail sales. Specifically, the airport authority identified cosmetics, liquor, electronics, candies and luxury goods as the top five product categories in terms of sales.

Notably, investment in IT by airport operators is gradually gaining prominence as airports seek to meet the increasing expectations of passengers for self-service and an efficient customer experience. For example, according to a press release in October 2011 from SITA, a supplier of air transport communications and IT solutions based in Belgium, global IT investment as a percentage of revenue increased to 4.4% in 2010 and 81% of airports expect IT budgets to increase in 2012. In this area, investment is expected to focus on the introduction of advanced IT solutions such as e-gates for boarding and check points, terminal management systems to control passenger flow and check-in bag-drops and kiosks, all of which are now expected by regular air passengers. Similarly, investment in technology related to social media channels is expected to assist in handling complaints and the provision of flight information and emergency updates. Additionally, airport operators also plan to invest in the upgradation and updating of their mobile technology services, including passenger assistance technology, updates to aircraft, and handheld devices for baggage management. Similarly, investment in passenger flow monitoring, virtualization, and cloud computing is expected to increase considerably as airport operators seek to enhance their operational efficiency.

A total of 51% of respondents from airport operator companies and 58% of respondents from airport support services companies anticipate a minimum of a 2% increase of their current workforce in 2012. Notably, 33% of respondents from airport operator companies and 30% of respondents from airport support services companies expect no change in their current workforce over the next 12 months. Many companies are however planning substantial recruitment activity, with, in November 2011, Dubai Duty Free announcing plans to recruit 1,000 personnel in 2012, in preparation for the launch of its outlets at Dubai Airports third concourse. The expansion, which is set to house Emirates A380 superjumbo fleet, includes 8,000 square meters of retail space to sell items such as perfumes, cosmetics, gold and jewellery. With the company reporting a 16% increase in sales in 2011, it expects to further increase its staff count once the expansion of Concourse 3 is complete.

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