"Extime is a new retail hospitality brand"
The aim of Extime, ADP's new hospitality brand, launched last February, is to make airport departure lounges a memorable experience. Comfort, service and design are at the heart of the customer's promise to make travel a celebration to look forward to. Roissy is home to the group's first "terminal boutique".
What is the current context of the international tourism market and its impact on airport activity?
We are seeing an upturn in activity at the Paris hubs. At Orly airport, which mainly handles domestic flights, activity is even higher than in 2019. Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport is still suffering from the halt in traffic from Asia.
For the year 2022, traffic at Paris airports has recovered to 80%. Overall, we have returned to classic travel habits and even a craze for flying and tourism after the Covid period. Travel is perceived as a holiday that one would have been deprived of for a long time...
Is there an ecological impact on long-haul flights?
The airline industry has been aware for years of the ecological challenge and the importance of acting in favour of the environmental transition. The industry is investing in green energy and hydrogen to support this changeover... but it is acknowledged that we will no longer fly as we used to.
Can you introduce us to Extime, the new hospitality brand of the ADP group?
This new retail hospitality brand was launched on 2 February 2023. It is the result of a long process of reflection and know-how that we have been developing in the ADP group since 2014 around the passenger experience and journey. The idea is to place passengers, the users of our airports, at the heart of our concerns.
Our recent studies show that there are two important times: the time when the customer arrives at the airport, often stressed, and goes through the controls (peak of the stress curve) and the time when they wait to get on the plane. This time seemed to be ideal to give the passenger a memorable experience, a memory. Until the doors of the plane, in this cocoon outside of time, outside of the zone, the customer enters a new territory. We believe that travel, and even more so tomorrow, will be a celebration. We will travel less but better and the passage through the airport is part of the magic. It is therefore essential to create places with a special atmosphere and optimum comfort for everyone. This drives the whole industry towards excellence.
Roissy was voted best airport in Europe in 2022.
Why this brand name?
We came up with this name with a philosopher, François Julien, and the branding agency W: Extime, in French. It's a philosophical concept that is the opposite of intimate. With Extime, we are pushing the notion of "extimacy" and the need to go towards people in that moment that is a little out of time when you are in a boarding room. This name reflects the notion of service offered to the passenger.
What are the pillars of this experience?
First of all, the offer (retail, catering, entertainment), which varies from one terminal to another according to the profiles and expectations of passengers. Then, the design, the architecture of the premises. Architects from the hospitality sector (hotels, restaurants, etc.) have worked on creative interpretations based on a set of specifications for use. Concerning Terminal 1 of CDG, this is where travellers keep or take away an image of Paris.
So, in this boarding hall, we want to offer them a Parisian experience. With Extime, we want to create coherent spaces, where comfort is democratised, a place of unexpected experience where one can play, work, rest and sublimate it through design.
Finally, service is essential and we are creating a "house manager" function, like a hotel manager, whose role will be to embody the state of mind of the place and to federate the entire airport community, which includes different professions and concessions. The business model of this new brand is to unite the operators (by creating JVs with champion partners) by activity: Extime F&B (Food & Beverage), Extime lounge (multi-company offer), Extime Duty Free and Extime Media, who will work under the same banner to create a unity of place. These affiliated experts share the same corporate values and the same DNA.
What is free and what is not?
Entertainment is offered (video game areas in partnership with Sony), family offers are proposed (baby room...) and access to the lounge is paid for.
What is the impact of design in these dedicated spaces?
The design has been part of our thinking for a long time. But recently, we worked with Hubert de Malherbe (Malherbe Design) on Terminal 2E (CDG) in 2021, but also Dorothée Meilichzon on Terminal 2G in 2022 (inspired by the decorative arts of the seventies), and, on 5 December last year, for the launch of our Terminal boutique (Roissy Terminal 1) - like a hotel boutique - with Maxime Liautard and Hugo Toro. After the deployment of retail know-how, we tested design concepts and are launching this new service offer with Extime.
What is the specificity of this latest architectural creation for Terminal 1 at Roissy-CDG?
The designers' talent consisted in working on a facet of Paris evoked in the book "Paris is a party" by Ernest Hemingway. In their aesthetic approach, they used codes from the beginning of the 20th century, such as the use of brass, a strong marker, columns evoking fireworks, the spirit of large brasseries such as La Coupole...
What are your levers in terms of customer loyalty?
To reward our customers, in the first half of 2023 we will launch Extime Rewards, a loyalty programme to encourage the generosity of our passengers. Thanks to this relationship programme, the customer will be able to earn points within the Extime brand, in the broadest sense of the term, covering all offers. Passengers will be able to use their points to build up a prize pool, but also to access unique and exclusive experiences (take a ride on the runways, visit a control tower, etc.). At the same time, and in order to meet our customers' expectations, we are launching a marketplace (extime.com) in 2023, which will aim to help them prepare their trip. It will be possible to book a car park, order services in advance, reserve duty free items available by click and collect in the shops, etc.
In 2023, ADP is launching Extime Rewards, a loyalty programme to encourage the generosity of passengers.
What are your objectives?
We wanted this programme to concern all passengers, even those flying for the first time, so it gives access to discounts, particularly on beauty and cosmetics. Active members travel more regularly, but it is interesting for all targets. Many partners will be added to the offer in the coming months.
Do you have any examples?
In the international lounge at Roissy Terminal 1, for example, you can take advantage of a very rich duty free offer, notably via the Les Caves Particulières corner, which offers a French art of living experience with access to very beautiful bottles or by having a bottle of cognac engraved... The service is pushed very far to give passengers a unique experience. A catering concept, signed Alain Ducasse, is proposed but also the possibility of tasting wine "à la ficelle", a national particularity...
How can brands integrate these boarding areas?
ADP issues calls for tender to operate concessions. A few brands come in on their own and operate gateways.
Many issues have arisen post-Covid regarding a certain impatience or even aggressiveness of consumers towards staff. Do you train your airport staff on this issue and its challenges?
Of course, hospitality is an integral part of our value proposition. This role of hostess is intended to set the pace for the welcome given to travellers. One of Extime's values is based on empathy because we know that flying generates stress and some customers in the shop can be disturbed or even aggressive. Our employees are trained to provide the solution that will transform this journey. The other two values of the brand are based on generosity and elegance (the art of living). Extime must translate the respect for place into the offer, service and design by adapting to the cultural codes of each country where the brand will be established.
How have you seen consumer expectations evolve in airports?
We are fighting against a cliché in the industry which is that we manage flows. We prefer to say that we welcome customers who, once in the airport, are consumers like any others. Hedonists, they expect attention, personalisation, experience...
How do you measure customer satisfaction?
Skytrax is a leading airport and airline quality ranking. It is based on the votes of passengers from all over the world using approximately 13 million questionnaires completed by customers of over 100 nationalities. In 2022, Roissy was voted best airport in Europe and 6th in the world (vs. 15th in 2021). It now ranks 6th in the Top 100 best airports in the world. Paris-Charles de Gaulle remains in 6th place for passenger services and shopping experience, but is also ranked 4th in the world in the category of most family-friendly airports and 8th in the world for best websites and digital services. The next ranking is expected in mid-March. We hope to maintain our ranking and capitalise on these satisfaction ratings.
Are there any airport models in the world where customer experience is a benchmark?
The airports ahead of us in the ranking are new. They are located in Asia (Changi in Singapore) and the Middle East. They have done a lot of work on the passenger experience in public areas, but not much in the boarding rooms. The Extime project is differentiating, it has its place in the world's airports.
What are Extime's ambitions?
Extime is an experiential brand that links retail and hospitality and that we will roll out in other terminals within the ADP group's airports, but also franchise to create a coherent network with a collection of shops in the terminals. We do not have a cash development plan. The brand's preferred deployment areas are the American and Asian continents.
The ADP Group develops and operates the Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget airports
86.7 million passengers in 2022 under the Paris Aéroport brand, including Paris-CDG (57.5 million; 75.5% of 2019 traffic) and Paris-Orly (29.2 million; 91.6% of 2019 traffic)
280.4 million passengers through airports managed abroad
2021 turnover: €2.77 billion
1945: Creation of the public establishment Aéroport de Paris
1946-1947: First terminal at Paris-Orly and construction of the first "hard" runway.
1952: Air France leaves Paris-Le-Bourget for Paris-Orly
1965: Creation of Paris-Nord airport at Roissy
1974-1976: Inauguration of Paris-CDG airport and first commercial flight of Concorde.
1989: By decree, becomes Aéroports de Paris
2006: Opening of the capital and listing on the stock exchange
Caroline Blanchet is a graduate of the ESS law school in Angers and of ESSCA (École Supérieure des Sciences Commerciales d'Angers). She joined the Accor group where, for 10 years, she developed operational marketing on the French and Southern European market for brands such as Ibis, Ibis Styles, hotelF1 and Greet. She joins the ADP group in April 2019 to take over the management of strategic marketing within the customer department. She is responsible for defining and deploying the hospitality strategy on the Paris hubs. In August 2021, she will take over as head of marketing for the ADP group to, among other things, launch Extime in France and begin its