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King Power to broaden Asian reach

Thai duty free monopoly King Power wants to expand into other Asian markets.

And it is settling an affiliation with AirAsia.

“We’re looking for more opportunities overseas, particularly in Asean where travel demand will rise after the formation of the Asean Economic Community by the end of 2015,” said chairman and CEO Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, quoted in the Bangkok Post newspaper.

King Power enjoys a monopoly in Thailand’s airports despite bids by established local retailers to compete or share rights on an airport by airport basis. A month ago the ruling military junta suggested the company might be opened to competition.  

According to the Bangkok Post, King Power plans to bid to operate a duty free shop at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, another at an unidentified Japanese airport and for airport rights in Myanmar.

It is bedding down a partnership with AirAsia to operate in Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia, but details have yet to be divulged.

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