It’s a rarity in this current economic climate for a success story to come out of Ireland. With the recent warning from Fitch that they may downgrade Ireland’s credit rating, the business environment seems all doom and gloom at the moment. But not so for AerRianta International.
ARI is a wholly owned subsidary of DAA (Dublin Airports Authority – which was renamed from its original name AerRianta in 2006) whose mandate is to focus on the development of managing and running airports across the globe.
They first hit the news when they won a contract to run the Duty Free shops in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport back in 1988. This largely came about through the long standing connections the Irish had with Aeroflot, and given Ireland’s stance on neutrality, seemed giving the contract to a non-NATO aligned nation made more sense to the Russians.
That was the beginning, and in 2008 they celebrated 20 years of business in Russia. I myself came across them personally when I lived in Ukraine. Kiev’s Duty Free business being run back then by a very affable Irishman, Garrett Coogan. Garrett introduced me to the small Irish diaspora in Ukraine (I was officially the 13th Irishman registered as living in Ukraine at that time) and has since moved on to run Moscow and now Qatar.
ARI have operations spanning the globe, from Barbados and Winnipeg all the way to Kosovo (of all places!!) and Delhi in India. Most recently they have announced plans to open up shop in China. From its very humble beginnings in 1937, AerRianta has gone on to dominate the globe in airport and airport-retail management, a success story to be proud of.
Mine’s a pint 😉