Business Model

Ours is a quite unique business model.

ATU Duty Free was founded in 2000 as a joint venture between TAV Airports Holding and Unifree Duty Free/Gebr. Heinemann. It is a combination of airport owner/landlord, retailer and distributor/supplier that brings together the three core competencies of the industry and puts us ahead of our competitors.

And it is this unique combination that has moved ATU Duty Free from its beginnings – operating an 80 sq.m store, to becoming, 16 years later, one of the world’s top travel retail companies. We now operate 128 shops, covering 32.500 sqm of retail space, spanning 21 airports in 8 countries across the globe.

Headquartered in Istanbul, ATU Duty Free had employed more than 2.700 people worldwide, serving approximately 79 million customers annually. Everyday our customers are presented with a sparkling array of the world’s most desirable brands through a portfolio of outstanding duty and tax free paid shops, brand boutiques, concept stores and sub-contracted stores.

Did you know?

Since the very first day:

  • 12,000 Tonnes of Chocolate sold in our shops. That is 100 times the weight of an Airbus A330.
  • 1.750.000 Liters of Fragrance sold in our shops That can fill 280 olympic swimming pools.
  • 3.400 Tonnes of Turkish Delight sold in our shops That is 29 times the weight of an Airbus A330.
  • Frontier Awards 2000
    ”Airport Retailer of the Year”
  • DFNI Global Awards 2008
    “Travel Retail Excellence”
  • Airports Council International/Trinity Forum 2008
    “Best Shop Application”
  • Frontier Awards 2008
    “Speciality Concept of the Year” for The Old Bazaar, Istanbul
  • EPI Environmental Products 2010
    “Environmental Ambassador”
  • Frontier Awards 2010
    “Speciality Concept of the Year” for Arrivals 3, Istanbul
  • Social Security Institution 2012
    “Protection of Employee Rights”
  • Golden Brands Award 2012
    “Wines of Georgia” Concept Store
  • Frontier Awards 2014 – Highly recommended
    “Speciality Concept of the Year” for the Old Bazaar, Istanbul
  • 2014 WWF Green Office Certificate
  • 2015 Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award for ATU’s Customer Experience project: ATU Style.

TAV Airports

TAV Airports is one of the leading airport operators in the industry. The company currently operate 14 airports worldwide and provide premier services to over 102 million passengers a year from 780.000 flights.

TAV own 50% of ATU Duty Free and we collaborate closely in designing compelling, premium airport commercial spaces, sharing passenger travel statistics as well as analysing traffic data.


The other 50% is owned by Gebr. Heinemann/Unifree.

Unifree Dutyfree İşletmeciliği A.Ş. presents a selection of over 30.000 reference products of over hundred international brands, in its modern and exquisite stores, aligned with competitive pricing policies based on international criteria.

Unifree is the managing partner and supplier of ATU Duty Free, which is the sole operator of Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Tbilisi, Batumi, Skopje, Ohrid, Tunisia, Riga and Houston Airports, a company established in 1999 as a joint venture between TAV Airports Holding and Unifree.

Heinemann is one of the world’s top 3 airport retailers and is globally recognised as the travel retail industry’s leading product and logistics distributor. The company has shops at more than 100 countries, serving more than 40 million customers annually.

Our shareholders provide a formidable combination of expertise. This is supported by data sharing as well as purchasing power that maximises our product offer and logistics capabilities. Together we now deliver more than 535 million Euros in annual sales from over 50.000 SKU’s offered to our customers.