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ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East announces key insights on airport business models


Recent survey uncovers industry shifts towards digital transformation, green operations, and diversified commercial offerings in airport non-aeronautical revenues.

HONG KONG SAR – ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East, the trade group for airports, announced the findings of the market research on airport concession business models and non-aeronautical revenues on the occasion of The Trinity Forum 2023, the world’s leading conference on airport commercial revenues. ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East is one of the co-organizers of the event, along with The Moodie Davitt Report and ACI World.

In a recent comprehensive survey conducted with various airport operators, significant insights were uncovered regarding the current and future state of the industry. The findings revealed a noteworthy consideration for new business models, aiming to adapt to market fluctuations and share risks.

This survey also highlighted the urgent adaptation of digital and contactless solutions, with a significant share of airports observing their impact post-pandemic in operations, showcasing a rapid move towards technological integration for enhanced safety and efficiency. Furthermore, an overwhelming emphasis on the role of robust data analytics was underscored, with sectors focusing on leveraging demographic information, travel patterns, and purchase history for optimized, customer-centric strategies and services.

Key Highlights

Focus on cultural diversification and commercial expansion

Embracing local culture is no longer an option but a necessity, with airports around the world increasingly incorporating local vendors and cultural elements, ensuring an enriched and vibrant passenger experience and contributing significantly to non-aeronautical revenues.

Green operations: A new norm

As airports globally prioritize their ecological footprint, ‘going green’ emerges as a crucial operational cornerstone, affirming the industry’s unwavering commitment to societal and environmental responsibility. However, there is a need to adopt ESG considerations in decision-making and increase waste management and renewable energy initiatives.

Diversification of commercial offerings

Airports are adapting to the evolving needs of travelers by incorporating cultural diversity and tailored retail options. There is ample opportunity for airports to further expand the retail and F&B options and incorporate technology and accessibility features.

Embracing the digital transformation

Technology, including AI-powered shopping platforms and digital advertising, is revolutionizing airport operations, enhancing customer experiences, and optimizing non-aeronautical revenue streams. Developing data-sharing partnerships with airlines and retailers can go a long way towards augmenting commercial revenues.

Data-driven decision-making for enhanced customer experiences

A deep dive into the efficient utilisation of collected data for strategic decision-making will underscore the industry’s shift towards customer-centric approaches, ensuring tailored and seamless passenger experiences.

Commenting on the findings of the research, Mr. Stefano Baronci, Director General of ACI Asia-Pacific & Middle East, said, “The insights from this extensive survey provide a critical framework for airport authorities and concessionaires, guiding them in their strategic planning and operational enhancements to navigate the evolving industry landscape. Considering these illuminating insights, it becomes unequivocally clear that commercial revenues are not merely a supplementary strand of airport finance but a critical lifeline. Their augmentation and astute management pave the unyielding pathways that help the aviation sector soar resiliently amidst the shifting skies of global economics and market trends.”

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George, in his capacity as an intern, diligently oversees the flow of news, assists in the publication of content, and delves into the strategies of social media distribution. He is currently pursuing his studies in Business Administration at the Athens University of Economics and Business.