Europe’s Airports

…Adding new value for the traveller

Air transport in Europe continues to boom – in pace with tourism growth, with a rise in traffic in 2014 of around 5%. Olivier Jankovec – Director General – Airports Council International (ACI), says Europe is, together with Asia, the most advanced region in the world when it comes to working on the “passenger experience”.

…DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES ARE HELPING AIRPORTS BE MORE “IN TOUCH” WITH PASSENGERS…

He says now the experience is being customised to give it a local flavour: “Examples include Amsterdam Schiphol airport, where one can find an annex of the Rijksmuseum; Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris has an annex of the Rodin museum; while Athens airport is presenting Greek antiquities in the terminal. Other initiatives include Munich airport with its on site brewery, Helsinki with a book-swap centre for passengers, Charles de Gaulle airport is developing signage and services in Chinese, London Heathrow is developing ‘personal shoppers’ who accompany passengers through their visit.”

“Airports have moved from being mere infrastructure providers to fully-fledged and diversified businesses,” says Mr Jancovec.

In a recent report, the ACI outlined the fact that digital technologies are helping airports be more “in touch” with passengers. “Of course with all the social applications like Facebook and Instagram, and how airports are using these to establish direct connections with the passengers, this is something that didn’t – or couldn’t – exist five to ten years ago. It places the airport-passenger relationship on another level.”

MAJOR NEW TERMINAL OPENINGS / EXPANSION

  • A new Terminal 2 satellite is opening in Munich in 2015;
  • A connector-building linking the two terminals in Brussels is a major change to the passenger experience there;
  • Terminal expansion is under way at Riga airport;
  • There is major ongoing refurbishing at Paris Orly;
  • Paris Charles de Gaulle is investing heavily in the quality of its facilities;
  • In Oslo, there is 1.7 billion Euro investment, with a new Terminal 2 under construction – due to open in 2017;
  • … and Helsinki is investing around 800-million Euros into upgrading its airport facility.

“We have seen in recent years a shift from spending money on developing capacity, to spending money on improving the quality,” underlines Mr Jancovec.