Don Mueang shops are clear for take-off

Rest assured, all the duty-free stores, restaurants, coffee houses and other retail facilities at Don Mueang airport will be ready to meet passenger needs next Monday, when Bangkok's almost century-old airfield begins a new chapter in life.

That was what concessionaires King Power and The Mall Group separately confirmed yesterday despite having had less than a month to get their facilities in place.

Their vow came as Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) once again declared all systems go for the opening of Don Mueang as a fully functional airport on Oct 1.

AoT president Anirut Thanomkulbutra yesterday said a test run of the airport's readiness in handling passenger flow was successfully conducted last Friday, and there is every reason to believe that next Monday's deadline will be met.

Sombat Dechapanichkul, group vice-chairman of King Power, said the company is spending 100 million baht to put in place seven duty-free stores offering a wide range of products inside the airport terminal.

These stores, built with a contemporary Thai design theme, will initially open for business next Monday before extra enhancements are completed by Dec 1.

The stores cover a combined area of 1,112 square metres, under a 10-year concession that calls for King Power to pay a minimum guaranteed fee of 63 million baht a month.

Meanwhile, Phaiboon Kanokwatanawan, a senior executive vice-president of The Mall Group, said his company and its tenants have earmarked 200 million baht to develop what the group calls The Mall Skyport covering 2,700 square metres at the airport.

The development will house stores carrying over 50 leading global brands, making use of both the international and domestic departure halls.

In fact, retail facilities in the two zones are those already found at The Mall, Thailand's second-largest department store, including names like McDonald's, Starbucks, Burger King, Longchamp and Esprit, said Mr Phaiboon.

The Mall Group won a 10-year contract to operate those facilities by offering a minimum monthly guaranteed payment of 16.7 million baht to AoT.

AoT's Mr Anirut said goods sold at stores inside Don Mueang airport, especially food and drinks, will cost 15% more than at city sites.

About the author

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Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business