July 23 2019  |  People

Colm McLoughlin honored at Aviation Industry Awards in Ireland

By Hibah Noor


Colm and Breeda McLoughlin with the Outstanding Contribution to the Aviation Industry Award at the Aviation Industry Awards in Dublin

At a glittering gathering of over 300 senior aviation executives in Ireland, Dubai Duty Free’s Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Colm McLoughlin, was presented with the Outstanding Contribution to the Aviation Industry award at the annual Aviation Industry Awards in Dublin.

McLoughlin, who celebrated his 50th anniversary in the duty free industry on June 1, 2019, was recognized for his extraordinary achievements over five decades, and in particular for his role at the helm of Dubai Duty Free over the past 35 years.

Dubai Duty Free, which is the largest single duty free retailer in the world, achieved record annual sales of US$2.015 billion in 2018.

Delivering the keynote speech, McLoughlin thanked the organizers and the judges. “I am thrilled to be honored in this way by the aviation sector in Ireland. I began my duty free career in Shannon Airport, so this means a lot to me to be recognized in my home country.

“As always, I fully recognize the support that I get from our terrific team of staff at Dubai Duty Free who do a great job in running our operation. I am also extremely thankful for the support that I receive from our Chairman, H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who is a superstar.

“We have just recently concluded two of our major sponsorships in Ireland, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, both of which were a great success and which generated extensive media coverage for our brand. The fact that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open took place in Lahinch this year, which is close to Shannon Airport where the duty free industry began, made it special. Also, my wife Breeda is from Co. Clare, so that made it extra special.”

Previous recipients of the Outstanding Contribution to the Aviation Industry award include Willie Walsh and the late Dr Tony Ryan.

This year’s awards ceremony saw 20 trophies being awarded to some of Ireland’s leading aviation companies, including Aer Lingus, Avolon, Stobart Air, George Best Belfast City Airport, and Shannon Duty Free.

McLoughlin was accompanied by his wife, Breeda, along with Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Dubai Duty Free and her husband, Jihad.

Launched in 2014, the Aviation Industry Awards are part of the Business River network, which hosts 12,000 senior level business professionals at more than 30 events, with a business network of 25,000 people.

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