In conversation with Luigi Battuello, Director Non-Aviation Business Development, SEA Milan Airports
International Airport Review Editor, Holly Miles, caught up with Luigi Battuello, Director Non-Aviation Business Development, SEA Milan Airports at the recent World Routes 2021 conference in Milan. Together they discussed SEA Milan’s strategy around non-aviation revenues and encouraging passengers to spend more time in the retail outlets where they have been avoiding it due to the pandemic.
During the pandemic, non-aviation revenues has suffered for SEA Milan Airports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Luxury retail is still suffering due to a lack of high-spending passengers, but the other affordable retail such as duty free and food and beverage (F&B) are now performing as they were.
Natural instinct meant that passengers didn’t spend much time in outlets during the pandemic but now the passengers are returning to this area and they are predicting a substantial increase in spending on F&B next year. The recovery of F&B is pushed very much by low-cost airlines according to Battuello, so they are focusing on F&B and are allocating them more space in the terminals to capitalise on this.
Future strategies for non-aviation revenues include adapting affordable retail to the low-cost airline model and bolstering their luxury offering.
Milan is a destination for fashion and design and they are looking to differentiate their airports more, so Linate city airport will have Milanese brands with a strong sense of place, and Milan Malpensa will allow for more international and global brands.
New environment and the new normal of air travel post-pandemic will mean health will become more important, so they have introduced a healthcare centre in Malpensa to take care of staff and passengers.
They have also introduced a luxury platform called Milan Malpensa Boutique, which is an editorial product. They anticipate that it will be mostly Chinese and Russian customers using the platform to purchase items.
For airport executives in Battuello’s position, they want to see more security technology and contactless technology to speed up passengers through check-in and security so that they can maximise the time spent in the retail outlets of the airport and that is something that SEA Milan Airports are working towards.