CHINA. Welcome to this edition of the Moodie Davitt Spotlight Series dedicated to the extraordinary new Daxing International Airport. This special publication captures the splendour and ambition of this project, with a particular emphasis on the retail and food & beverage components.

When we first conceived this title in November 2019, China travel retail – like the world at large – was a very different place. December’s outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan changed everything. Over the next two months, Chinese outbound travel plummeted and spending fell sharply as the country grappled with the greatest national and global health crisis of modern times.

As we complete this special edition, the situation has improved dramatically in China, even as the crisis deepens in the west. Yesterday (20 March) marked the third day in a row without new confirmed cases in Hubei Province.

That neither means China’s troubles are over nor that recovery will be immediate. But all the dynamics that underpinned the relentless rise of Chinese outbound and domestic travel – and travel retail shopping – through the first two decades of this century remain in place. A thirst for discovery, for international experience, and for international brands at preferential prices, remains unsated.

To support the post-COVID-19 travel boom, Chinese aviation needs quality infrastructure and that is what this eZine is all about. Daxing International has size and scale and was built around the core principles of simplicity and sustainability.

Because the original early 2020 publication date coincided with the height of the COVID-19 crisis in China, we felt it inappropriate either to publish such a celebratory eZine or to accept the previously booked advertising revenues.

Eventually we decided to delay publication and to donate all revenues to one of the Wuhan hospitals in the frontline of the courageous fight to beat this disease. The chosen institution, at the recommendation of China Duty Free Group, was Union Hospital Tongji Medical College Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Union Hospital).

Even as China began to recover, in the days leading up to this eZine’s publication the hospital was in urgent need of support to battle the disease, with critical shortages of equipment.

Funds were thus remitted in advance by The Moodie Davitt Report, even before being received from our generous advertising partners. We thank each of them – Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail, China Duty Free Group, Treasury Wine Estates, The Estée Lauder Companies and La Prairie. As well as making its own cash donation, The Moodie Davitt Report has absorbed full costs of this publication to ensure that all monies went to Union Hospital.

Now, as China begins slowly to emerge from the depths of the crisis, we are pleased to bring you this publication about a landmark in the country’s aviation history.

It’s rare to publish a title that fulfils two roles – helping an urgent national crisis while celebrating that same nation’s golden future. We are proud to have found such a formula – and to stand with China.

– Martin Moodie, Founder & Chairman, The Moodie Davitt Report