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Wed, Jul 28, 2004 - Page 12 News List

Asian airports add amenities to help stopovers fly by

AFP , SINGAPORE

In Seoul, as everywhere in Asia, the higher-end passenger services market is fast becoming a much-needed source of revenue in an increasingly competitive airport arena.

"We are trying to use the space efficiently to accommodate as many commercial facilities as possible, as our revenue depends more and more on that," an Incheon International Airport Corp spokesman said.

Ian Thomas, a senior consultant with the Australian-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, said that shops, entertainment facilities, office leasing and other non-aeronautical services have become airports' major source of revenue in the past 10 years.

passengers pay

"Airports traditionally have focused on revenue coming from aeronautical sources [such as airline landing fees and passenger service charges]," Thomas said.

"But the competition between airports, particularly the major hubs, has seen those charges drop, so they have been forced to look to increase their revenue base elsewhere," he said.

Reflecting the regional trend, Goh said 60 percent of the Singapore airport's revenue came from non-aeronautical services, up from 40 percent in 1981.

"The philosophy is to maximize commercial revenue to keep costs for airlines low," he said.

"You are finding smaller airports are becoming busier and busier, so these ones are also being upgraded," Thomas said, citing Phuket, Thailand, as an example.

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