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BREAKING NEWS. John McDonnell to Tito’s. Former Patrón Spirits president international and COO John McDonnell has confirmed to TMI that he has joined Tito’s Handmade Vodka as managing director international, as reported on Wednesday afternoon in Wine and Spirits Daily.
According to WSD, McDonnell, who spearheaded the international success of the super-premium Patrón Tequila range, will be responsible for managing duty-free, direct military and non-Canadian international sales. McDonnell, a familiar figure in the travel retail channel, was also DISCUS Chairman at the time of his departure from Patrón.
The other major story taking place today, Sept. 18, was the official opening to passengers of the new $1.9 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The new terminal was inaugurated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and city transportation leaders in a ribbon-cutting grand opening ceremony.
Shortly after 12 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the 30 foreign air carriers at TBIT began transitioning operations from aircraft gates in the existing Tom Bradley terminal, to five new gates on the west side of the new terminal’s South Concourse. In addition to three gates in the North Concourse that opened in March 2013, there are now a total of eight new gates on the west side of the terminal, all of which can accommodate larger, new-generation (Group 6) aircraft such as the Airbus A380 super jumbo jet and Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. Arriving international passengers also began processing through an expanded and upgraded U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal inspection area. TMI will present more details in our next issue.
In today’s issue, TMI looks at Boston’s Logan International Airport, where International Shoppes has opened three new luxury retail stores at the AIRMALL in Terminal E; and at Grupo Wisa’s La Riviera stores in Panama’s Tocumen International Airport, where the Wisa Group is featuring a number of high-end, luxurious exclusive products as it strives to offer its traveling customers “the best products in duty free,” according to Ricardo “Tito” Gonzalez, category manager for liquor, tobacco and chocolate. Gonzalez tells TMI about the recent launches of Absolut Amber, Gran Patrón Piedra and Camus Cuvée 5.150. See pages 1 & 3.
London Supply Group Foundation members to meet the Pope. Company president Teddy Taratuty and members of the London Supply Foundation will meet Pope Francisco in Vatican City next week. Read more on page 2.
FlyInStyle mobile app – an innovative new smartphone app created by four industry veterans – is now in beta testing. Designed to help travelers find shopping, dining and service promotions during airport “downtime,” company co-founders Amanda Anthony and Katherine Patch Sleipnes are setting up appointments with potential partners in Cannes. See page 2 for more details.
People. Former McCarran Airport director Randall H. Walker joins Hudson Group’s Advisory Board.
Supply Side Feature. Grey Goose again welcomes travelers to the Toronto International Film Festival. Page 4.
Diageo dominates IWSR’s World Class Brand rankings. Page 4.