George Best Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland has officially opened its upgraded terminal facilities following a £15m ($19.2m) infrastructure investment, including newly renovated World Duty Free and WH Smith stores.
The project saw a 30% increase in retail space – including that now occupied by new retailer Born and Bred – and a 25% increase in food & beverage.
The significant upgrade of the departures lounge includes new retail outlets, ‘enhanced’ bars and restaurants, additional seating and a new security search area which has significantly reduced average queuing time to just six minutes.
Joanne Deighan, Commercial Manager at Belfast City Airport, commented: “We strive to constantly exceed customers’ expectations and put them at the heart of what we do by continually making improvements to our sales and services for the benefit of the end user.
“The upgrade of our departure lounge and retail offering will provide greater choice and significantly enhance the experience for our business and leisure passengers as they travel through the airport.
“We listened to passenger feedback throughout the refurbishment journey and are confident that Belfast City Airport is one that Northern Ireland can be truly proud of.”
PRIME POSITION FOR WH SMITH
Speaking on behalf of World Duty Free, Fred Creighton, Dufry’s Divisional CEO for UK and Central Europe said: “We were delighted to have this opportunity to work in close partnership with our valued colleagues at Belfast City Airport and play our part in helping them create the exceptional customer experience they were seeking to deliver.
“Our new walk through World Duty Free store occupies a new location and is a bigger retail space. It gives passengers a more prestigious shopping environment, along with some great new brands and an extensive product choice. We’re sure our customers will love this transformation of our store and of Belfast City Airport”
WH Smith has two locations at Belfast City Airport, with one at check in and one through security in the departure lounge.
Lee Thompson, Head of Business Development for WH Smith, said: “We are delighted to have opened a new store in such a prime location within Belfast City Airport.
“The new store offers customers a great selection of products for their journey, including a wide range of reading materials, food to go items and travel accessories. We very much look forward to welcoming customers to the store.”
BORN & BRED
The first new retailer to be announced was lifestyle and gift store, Born & Bred, an offshoot from the popular store, Studio Souk.
Named as one of the top five shopping places in Belfast by The New York Times and praised for being ‘the perfect place to pick up Belfast-themed gifts and souvenirs’ by Lonely Planet, Linzi Rooney, Owner of Born and Bred, felt as though the airport was an ideal location for the second store.
She said:“It is my goal to showcase our countries talented makers and designers in the Belfast City Airport.
“The Born and Bred brand has become synonymous with Northern Irish talent, forward thinking and alternative consumerism and proof that shopping local does not compromise quality or a competitive price.”
Belfast City Airport celebrated the launch of the new facilities with an exclusive reception for stakeholders, aimed at thanking key commercial partners and looking forward to the future of the business.