FRANCE. Nice Côte d’Azur Airport will have completed most of the commercial transformation of Terminal 2 by early June, with further openings before year-end. That’s according to Chief Commercial Officer Filip Soete, speaking at a media lunch on Wednesday at Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

As reported, Nice Airport completed its major refurbishment and expansion of T1 last year, with T2 following in 2017. The goal, Soete reminded guests, is to create “the most surprising commercial experience at a European airport”.

Aelia Duty Free at Nice T2: A much expanded core retail offer

Soete said: “We are trying to be different to other airports, which we feel is important. That means a strong Sense of Place, an offer that spans entry level to luxury, and a memorable passenger experience.”

On completion, T2 will feature a redeveloped passenger flow and commercial space of 3,706sq m, an increase of +162%. Duty free (managed through Aelia Duty Free, with the main store open since February) has grown its space by +79% to 1,100sq m, other retail space has increased by +198% to 1,325sq m while F&B space will leap by +260% to 1,281sq m. Space for lounges has risen by +144% to 1,415sq m.

The Kooples: A world first for the French lifestyle brand at an airport

The terminal’s transformation has been boosted by a 3,000sq m Schengen area extension and 1,000sq m of extra space in the Non-Schengen zone, which opened on 28 April. The commercial design was delivered by The Design Solution, which Soete hailed as a tremendous partner in the overall airport project.

This month sees the completion of 90% of the retail offer. By 1 June the airside mezzanine for F&B will be operational and the remaining 10% of retail stores will open by December.

Soete said: “Aelia Duty Free has mirrored much of what it has successfully done in T1. It houses for example a Fragonard fragrances area, great local wines & Champagnes and a showcase area for new products. We know that T1 duty free delivered sales growth of +30-40% after opening; T2 so far has been close to double that. It shows just what a powerful proposition the new passenger flow is, and that rise is coming from just +5% traffic growth.”

Other key openings include the first The Kooples brand at an airport (March); Michael Kors (March); electronics concept FNAC (April); Relay (August 2016); a Schengen area multibrand store (September 2016); L’Occitane/So Nice (April); a further multi-brand Schengen fashion shop in 220sq m, featuring Paul & Shark*, Etro, Zegna, Zilli and Tumi, plus stand-alone stores from Hermès (September 2017), Armani (May) and Ferragamo (already open). By September a new Hour Passion store will have opened next to Hermès.

In food & beverage, highlights from 1 June (when SSP and Lagardère take over new concessions) include baker Eric Kayser, Petrossian, Jamie’s Italian in 300sq m of space, Bread & Co (landside), a new Joe & The Juice (October), Starbucks, Chez Jean (December), Jamie’s Deli (landside from October), L’Estivale (2018) and Burger King (2018).

T2 traffic should be buoyed by the addition of a daily Airbus A380 flight to and from Dubai via Emirates from 1 July, as well as a new flight from Qatar Airways to Doha from 4 July. Traffic overall has been growing steadily again in 2017 after a downturn last year following the terror attack in Nice in July 2016.

The T2 offer is aimed at a blend of domestic and long-haul traffic, the latter led by Middle East, Russian and North American routes

*Nice Airport and Paul & Shark have teamed up for a new initiative aimed at protecting and conserving sharks. The brand has launched a limited edition line, with a proportion of sales going to a trust developed with South African biologist and photographer Chris Fallows.

Filip Soete said: “We feel we should give something back, something that makes a difference to these magnificent creatures.”

We’ll bring you more on this initiative and on Nice Airport’s redevelopment soon.