Cairns Airport to Issue Terminal 2 F&B Tender

Cairns Airport is preparing to invite local and international F&B operators to tender for 11 F&B outlets, encompassing some 1,500m2 of floor space, which will be delivered progressively during 2019.

Domestic passenger numbers at Cairns Airport are growing strongly, with a compound annual growth rate over the past 5 years of around 4% - more than 3 times the national average.

This growth heralds the enduring strength of tourism to Cairns and the Tropical North Queensland region which boasts two UNESCO world heritage locations - the Great Barrier Reef and the 180 million year old Daintree rainforest – the world’s oldest rainforest.

Recent developments in the region include two new airlines from China launching scheduled services (China Southern and Hainan Airlines) and three major hotel developments that will see the addition of over 1,000 new hotel rooms.

Terminal 2 at Cairns is already one of the best commercially performing domestic terminals in Australia. This is due to a unique passenger mix that sees 37% of passengers in the terminal being international visitors (who entered Australia via other ports such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane). Indeed, some 10% of the total domestic traffic in T2 is from China, growing at a rate of 26%. CNS T2 has more Chinese passengers (albeit travelling as domestic passengers) than some other airports in Australia have in their international terminal.

The commercial opportunity at Cairns T2 is further highlighted by almost 80% of traffic being leisure (holidays or visiting friends and relatives) which drives outstanding dwell time within the terminal (almost 2 hours on average) and low airline lounge usage. This means T2 passengers have plenty of time to spend in the retail program and within the F&B outlets.

The commercial strategy around the F&B tender is to respond to passenger feedback that they are looking for new and innovative dining experiences.

Cairns Airport Chief Commercial Officer, Tracey Groves said: “we have structured the F&B opportunity as two packages of 5 outlets each. Each package will include a QSR, two food court outlets, a kiosk and either a bar or a casual dining outlet. These packages have been structured to provide each of two operators with a substantial business at Cairns Airport so that they can invest to deliver on the passenger’s expectations. We are inviting both existing and new operators to put forward their best proposals”.

“We would also like to showcase the wonderful local produce from the region in our F&B menus. To this end, we have scoured the region to find the best produce suppliers and we will be providing a database of local produce suppliers to all tenderers” Groves said.

“We have also reserved one substantial location in the terminal for an iconic local offering. Our objective is to give departing passengers one last chance to experience the best of the diverse and exciting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland foodie scene” Groves continued.

Request for Proposal information will be issued in the coming weeks. For more information on upcoming F&B opportunities, please contact Mr Fraser Reynolds from The Mercurius Group, who are managing the tender on behalf of Cairns Airport: