For immediate release
April 22, 2016
NEW YORK — In a publication released today, the UNITE HERE Airport Group highlighted myriad reasons why German-owned AIRMALL USA is a poor fit for New York’s largest airport. AIRMALL is in consideration to develop, manage and operate food and beverage and retail concessions at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Terminal 5. The choice will be made by JetBlue, which is reviewing proposals and expected to make a decision at any time.
The look book can be accessed online at http://www.airportgroup.org/look-book.
Entitled “Great Brands Think Twice,” the look book parodies an “innovation brochure” produced for AIRMALL by advertising firm Elias/Savion. It highlights several issues with AIRMALL:
- Its fast food heavy “mall model”: Consumer trends are towards the higher-end, healthy food options increasingly demanded by passengers.
- At the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), which AIRMALL called “the gold standard for airport concessions,” individual passengers spent a high dollar amount inside PIT’s terminals in 2014, but those high spends did not translate into increased rent revenue for the airport. That year, PIT retained a lower percentage of sales than the national average for airports of its respective size.
- Political and labor unrest: Political leaders and workers in three cities—Baltimore, Atlanta and New York City—have actively opposed either AIRMALL’s current program at their hometown airport, or the company’s plans to seek a contract there.
“This look book is intended to further illustrate the many reasons why AIRMALL is not the right fit for JFK Terminal 5,” said Bianca Garcia, an analyst the Airport Group, “JetBlue identifies itself as New York’s hometown airline—so why would it undermine its core values for a contract that won’t benefit New York, New Yorkers or, frankly, the airline itself?”
Previously, 13 of New York’s elected officials and community groups expressed their concern over AIRMALL’s bid for Terminal 5.