Non-aero revenues can take many forms – with some being passenger-dependent like parking, retail, and food & beverage facilities, and others (cargo and real estate) offering revenues less dependent on passenger traffic.
Non-aero revenues are mostly unregulated and tend to be a larger contributor to overall profits – meaning growing non-aeronautical revenues is a good thing in itself; without even thinking about diversification. Non-aero revenues today represent about 28% of total operating revenues at African airports. Globally, this figure is more than 40%, indicating there is room for growth in this area.
These trends and insights highlight the need for optimization of physical retail space and integration with digital platforms. Airports must create an omnichannel experience that seamlessly connects in-store shopping with virtual environments.
Digital transformation is a complex process that requires organizations to invest in digital capabilities. We have previously written about this in the context of the future passenger experience and visa processing in Africa.
A broad revenue base with income from a variety of sources is important for airports to deal with inevitable downturns. Building income streams that are not linked to passenger traffic, such as cargo and real estate, reduce business risk in the case of an economic downturn, crisis, or pandemic.
Growing revenues in those areas starts with insights into the situation at your airport and a good relationship with stakeholders. Gathering and analysing relevant data is key to preparing targeted plans and making the right investment decisions. Investments in staff capabilities and stakeholder relationships may be as important as bricks and mortar.
When it comes to capital expenditures for infrastructure or facilities, involving specialists to determine capacity needs and appropriate business models can be key to success. Keeping these aspects in mind can support airports in building business resilience.