Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: Community-Driven ‘Great Hall’ Experience Planned for JFK’s Terminal 8

8 months ago

Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy Airport is set to undergo a $125 million commercial redevelopment program with a focus on bringing the local community into the airport, thanks to a new partnership between American Airlines, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) Airports.

Following the completion of the $400 million expansion of the terminal, which saw American Airlines and British Airways move in at the end of last year, the new commercial redevelopment aims to enhance the retail offering within the terminal. 

According to American, the redevelopment will focus on bringing locally owned and diverse businesses to the airport in order to boost economic opportunities for the local community. This includes the introduction of a small business accelerator program for locally based businesses to take up space in the terminal. 

The new project will be built around a ‘Great Hall’, and will host more than 60 new shopping and restaurant facilities, alongside a performance space and enhanced duty-free shopping. 

Credit: American Airlines

The redevelopment will also see a new partnership launch with The Green Restaurant Association, with the aim of ensuring all new tenants become Certified Green Restaurants. 

“We look forward to working with our project partners, the Port Authority and the local community to deliver a transformative dining and shopping experience that represents the dynamic New York region,” said Amanda Zhang, vice president of airport affairs and facilities at American Airlines.

You can find out more about the development on the official website here.

At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


IDEAS: Shop Autonomously at Hong Kong International Airport

10 months ago

Lagardère Travel Retail has launched its first completely autonomous store, Travelwell, at Hong Kong International Airport.

The contactless store, which has been designed to offer passengers a convenient shopping location to complete any last minute purchases, utilizes an Artificial Intelligence technology system to track shoppers and products to ensure an accurate and safe shopping experience. 

Credit: Lagardère Travel Retail/Hong Kong International Airport

When entering the 88 sqm store, customers will simply need to tap or insert their credit card at the payment terminal and then continue their shopping experience as normal. As they exit with their chosen items, the credit card will be charged thanks to a number of algorithms tracking movements around the store.

However for those who may struggle with this new shopping experience, there will be staff and visual guides on-site to provide guidance. 

Credit: Lagardère Travel Retail/Hong Kong International Airport

Lagardère Travel Retail says it has been working with the airport on the concept store since 2019, and believes Travelwell will offer ‘a new kind of shopping experience’.

“We are grateful to have benefitted from the support of the Airport Authority Hong Kong and of business partners to pioneer this technology-led, innovative new store. Our Travelwell store and the beautiful Sky Bridge are a natural fit to each other. I hope the new shopping experience will appeal to travelers and become a memorable part of their journey. This project represents a key milestone in our ambitious roadmap to innovate to elevate the traveler shopping experience,” said Séverine Lanthier, Asia chief operating officer & group chief strategy and development officer at Lagardère Travel Retail.

At the 2023 Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking to celebrate the projects that are defining the future of airports and the traveler experience.

If you have an exciting initiative to share, head over to the Skift IDEA Awards website today and start your submission. Don’t delay, the entry deadline is set to end June 20.

Mergers and Acquisitions

It’s Official, A New $6 Billion Travel Retail Giant is Born: Dufry Buys Autogrill

2 years ago

This deal has been rumored and in the works for many months now: Switzerland headquartered travel duty free and retail firm Dufry has agreed to buy Autogrill from Italian billionaire Benetton family, creating a new $6 billion player in the travel retail market, reports Bloomberg. The combined group will have 5,500 outlets at around 1,200 airports and other locations.

From the release announcing the deal: Upon completion of the transaction, the combined group will adopt a new name with a new identity. Edizione, which currently owns a 50.3% stake in Autogrill, will become the largest shareholder of the new group, of which it will hold a stake of approximately between about 25% and 20% at the end of the transaction, depending on the level of subscription to the mandatory tender exchange offer.Juan Carlos Torres and Xavier Rossinyol will be respectively Executive Chairman and CEO of the new group.