Aer Rianta International (ARI) has officially opened its The Loop Duty Free stores in Auckland on Monday June 29.

Aer Rianta International (ARI) has started trading under The Loop Duty Free banner at Auckland International Airport. The stores opened at 4am local time. They were officially blessed at a private Maori ceremony ahead of the opening.

ARI Chief Executive Jack MacGowan, who is in Auckland for the opening, said: “Today is a momentous day in ARI’s history and I’m really proud to present for the opening of our first ever duty free stores in New Zealand.

“From our initial conversations with [Auckland Airport commercial executives] Richard Barker and Lucy Thomas, we recognised a shared vision about placing the passenger at the heart of the airport retail experience and today that vision becomes a reality. We have cultivated a great working relationship with the broader commercial team at Auckland over the last few months and we look forward to continuing that partnership throughout the concession.”

He added: “I’d like to especially thank the entire ARI Auckland team led by our Global Implementation & Corporate Affairs Director Philip Eckles who have literally worked around the clock – given the tight deadlines and time differences – to ensure that everything was in place to start trading today. They have been helped every step along the way by Auckland Airport, which augurs well for a long and successful partnership. I’m also delighted to welcome a number of new ARI colleagues who have joined our Auckland team and I look forward to getting to know you all during my stay.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to DFS and all of their team in Auckland for their good grace in facilitating a smooth transfer of operations to ARI. I’d like to thank Avsec (official provider of aviation security services in New Zealand) and Airport Customs for all of their logistical assistance.”

ARI secured the duty free concession at Auckland Airport in February, and will manage the business under seven-year contracts.

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