US-based travel-retail association the IAADFS has sent a letter to airports requesting that they suspend guaranteed payments based on specific minimum passenger numbers, effective March 1, 2020 and until the end of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“There needs to be an impactful and rapid decision by airport authorities and their leadership to work together with the Duty Free and Travel Retail Industry to ameliorate the crisis we are facing,” IAADFS president and ceo Michael Payne stated in the letter.
“The companies that comprise the Duty Free and Travel Retail sectors are suffering devastating consequences as a result of the dramatic decline in airline passengers. Our members have reached out individually to numerous airports seeking assistance and collaborative discussions to help address the requirements they all face for guaranteed payments to airports, even in the absence of sufficient passenger traffic numbers,” Payne wrote.
Payne said that the global business community needs to come together to address the rapid decrease in passenger retail traffic, which he described as the lifeblood of the both the airports and the duty-free operators businesses.
He warned: “There are thousands of jobs at stake, including the solvency of your important Duty Free business partners.”