Dufry ( a global duty free company with operations in 45 countries) has signed a master concessionaire agreement to operate duty free shops at Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), Sri Lanka.
Located in the Southeast of Sri Lanka, MRIA was officially opened as Sri Lanka’s second international gateway in March 2013.
With 10 parking bays and an initial annual passenger handling capacity of 1 million, the airport is expected to reach its first phase capacity by 2015. By 2016, the second phase expansion plans are anticipated to have been completed, taking the terminal’s annual handling capacity to 5 million passengers and 20 parking bays.
The retail operation is a joint venture between Dufry and Sri Lankan company Perpetual Capital Holdings.
Dufry will operate all airside retail space in the terminal. The main duty free offering will include core liquor, tobacco, perfumes & cosmetics and confectionery categories at both the departure and arrival levels of the airport. Dufry will work with Sri Lankan partners to provide an attractive range of electronics, local souvenirs, convenience products and other items.
As the passenger numbers approach the first phase handling capacity, Dufry envisions approximately 1,000sq m of retail space, evenly distributed between the Departure and Arrival areas (both with 500sq m), reflecting the importance of Arrivals duty free sales in Sri Lanka. Enhancements will be made to the retail offer as the airport expands into its second phase.
Dufry Chief Executive Officer Julián Díaz said: “With our experience in the Middle East and a growing presence in East Asia and China – the main destinations served out of MRIA – we believe Dufry is the ideal partner to roll out a fresh travel retail experience here.
“We are honoured to have been chosen by the Airports Authority of Sri Lanka (AASL) as their retail partner at the country’s second international airport. We are pleased to cement our relationship with Perpetual Capital Holdings, continuing a long-standing Dufry tradition of working with strong local partners in many countries we enter.”
Perpetual Capital Holdings Chairman Arjun Aloysius added: “Perpetual and our sister companies have nearly 100 years of experience in Sri Lanka in businesses as diverse as tea plantations, infrastructure, liquor manufacturing & distribution. This is our first foray into the mainstream duty free sector, where we have had presence in duty free electronics at the Colombo International Airport since 1996. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Dufry to expand our presence in other transportation hubs within Sri Lanka.” (Moodie Report)