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King Power Thailand wins more airport monopolies

King Power Thailand has won extended exclusive rights to operate at three additional Thai airports for a further 10 years.

The firm won tenders for Phuket, Chiang Mai and Hat Yai airports, just a week following a win at the country’s main international airport at Suvarnabhumi near Bangkok.

The contracts were subject to some criticism from observers such as the Thai Retailers Association, who were hoping to see Airports of Thailand bring greater competition to the US$2.1 billion duty-free retail sector. The airport operator responded to criticism in saying King Power had submitted the best proposal above close rivals Lotte Group and Dufry.

In short, King Power bought the rights, the cost of which will inevitably be passed on to travellers. Rival companies have called for a “more opaque” tender process.

The tenders reaffirm King Power’s status as effectively the only duty-free store provider at major airports in Thailand.

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