The Gulf’s three biggest airlines, Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways, have set their sights on the world’s largest aviation market; figures collated at the start of the year indicate the three airlines boosted flights to the US by 47 percent in 2014. Etihad and Qatar Airways followed in Emirates’ footsteps to add flights to Dallas last year, making it the latest US market in which all three carriers compete.
Meanwhile, the Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport saw the Emirates Airbus A380 land for the first time in Dallas in October of last year, marking an 83 percent increase in capacity on the DFW to Dubai route. Now, in a move to further encourage international air travel to and from the region, the DFW Airport is inviting high-end retailers, restaurateurs, and service providers to set up shop at its award-winning International Terminal D.
“Our Terminal D concessions program has received numerous awards through the years,” said Ken Buchanan, Executive Vice President of Revenue Man-agement of the airport. “Now, we are seeking to enhance our customer experi-ence even more with new concepts that can help DFW compete on a global scale,” he added.
The bid for space for more than 30 concession units – mostly in the airport’s international Terminal D, but including a few spaces in DFW’s domestic termi-nals B and E – is now open to a variety of concession outlets, with DFW Air-port recently issuing a request for proposals (RFP).
At the close of last year, DFW Airport set a record for annual passenger traffic by hosting 62.9 million passengers through the year, and increased its interna-tional service by adding 18 new nonstop destinations since 2011. This makes it the third busiest airport in the world for aircraft movements and the ninth busiest in the world for total passengers, two spots behind Dubai International Airport. Earlier in 2014, DFW became one of 20 airports worldwide to accommodate the Airbus A380, significantly increasing its international customer base.
With these customers in mind, DFW developed a new concessions master plan for Terminal D, to further its robust concessional sales. The RFP calls for duty free, consumer electronics, news, coffee, convenience, spa, candy, premium retail and international and domestic teas to be offered in Terminal D. Food and beverage opportunities include a Mediterranean grill, sports bar, snack bar, deli, upscale Italian eatery, experiential or signature bar, pub, high-end bistro, and wine bar.
“This is an exciting time for DFW Airport and our concession partners,” said Buchanan. “Our tremendous international expansion has added to the number of passengers traveling through DFW Airport every day. We’re looking forward to receiving proposals from the world’s top duty-free shops, restaurants, and retailers and to offering our customers new and exciting choices for eating, shopping and relaxation,” he added.
DFW Concessions’ website (www.dfwairport.com/opportunities) has useful re-sources and information for responding concessionaires, including previous outreach presentations. The website also offers a database of businesses in-terested in partnering with other firms. The RFP responses are due by March 2, 2015, with the exception of duty free and premium retail proposals, which are due by April 2, 2015.