Airports are being offered a new suite of technology retail and merchandising products to help them offset falling aeronautical revenues.
Aeroparker is a new product developed by KMP Digitata for airports which have seen the proportion of their income from aeronautical services overtaken by non-aeronautical services in recent years.
This is largely because of the impact of low-cost airlines using their bargaining power to force down costs and falling sales of duty free due to rules on hand luggage and items allowable on aircraft.
Jon Keefe, chief executive of KMP Digitata, said: “Airlines are only wanting to pay airports for what they use.
“Plus they are saying to them your customers are only there because they are using our planes so they want a cut of the duty free income.
“16% of European airports are running at a loss. About 20 years ago aeronautical and non-aeronautical income was 70:30 in favour of the former.
“Now it’s 52:48 in favour of non-aeronautical. You have policies by airlines like Ryanair where they say for operational reasons you are only allowed one bag on board.
“Funnily enough when you get on board they’re happy to sell you a bottle of whisky. Around 50% of passengers don’t buy duty free because of confusion about the rules. Overall revenue is down 34%.
“What airports require is an improved business model where they can engage directly with the customers.
“The problem is on average airports only know about 6% of their passengers whereas the airline knows 100% because they have to.
“Airports need some software that’s attractive to passengers enough for them to engage directly to gain some form of customer relation development programme.”
Aeroparker has been designed to allow airports to make more from services such as parking as well as other products like airport hotel stays, foreign exchange and pre-paid duty free.
Keefe said geo-fencing means that travellers can be sent parking upgrades or lounge access passes and other offers to increase loyalty.
“This is like a virtual online terminal that can drive incremental sales. There’s no point robbing Peter to pay Paul
“Year-on-year parking revenue for airports has increased and the share of that revenue that’s pre-booked has increased as well.
“That tells us we are making more money from the same passenger base, therefore it’s incremental.”
Among airports with over 200,000 passengers annually about 75% currently do not have pre-booked parking. In the US that figure rises to 95% despite 87% of passengers driving to the airport.
Aeroparker is working with Manchester Airports Group, which also owns Stansted and East Midlands, as well as Humberside and Bournemouth airports.
It is hoping to start working with Chicago and plans to set up a base in Germany to grow on the continent.
Aeroparker operates a subscription model with a one-off configuration fee and offers three forms: Pro, Plus and Light.