24/06/2011

Catering Update Flies Into Aldergrove

A major refurbishment project, which incorporates five new food and drink units, has been officially opened at Belfast International Airport.

The substantial building project is part of a £1.5m investment at the Aldergorve airport by food travel experts SSP, UK. The investment, which will create 60 new jobs, will give passengers a much wider range of dining choices.

The Stormont First Minister, Peter Robinson, and the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness 'landed' at the modern airport to officially open the new dining complex at Belfast International Airport

Just months after a royal visit, when Her Majesty the Queen formally opened a new departures area in late 2010, the First Minister and DUP Leader said: "This is an important development in the history of Belfast International Airport and I congratulate the airport authorities and their partners in this enterprise, SSP UK, on these wonderful facilities.

"In today's world the importance of choice is crucial and these new units offer a much wider range of dining options to the air traveller and this is to be welcomed.

"This investment has also led to the creation of new jobs at the airport and in today's challenging economic climate, this is good news not only for Belfast International Airport, but for the wider local economy."

The Deputy First Minister also praised the new facilities saying that they will be highly welcomed by passengers using the airport.

He said: "Airports can have a lasting impression on those who pass through them and it is therefore vitally important that the right impression is made.
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"We have a worldwide reputation for our hospitality and for those people who choose to use Belfast International Airport, they will not be disappointed with the range of culinary options on offer.

"We want more and more people to visit us and our airports are a crucial sector in the tourism industry.

"The tourism industry can play a vital role in helping to revitalise our local economy and in Government we are ready and willing to play our part."

The Sinn Fein Minister also referred to the contentious issue of Air Passenger Duty rates and said that the aim of having it reduced had been raised directly with the Chancellor in London.

Commenting on the upgrade, Nathan Wall, Managing Director for Air at SSP UK, said: "We are delighted to be able to invest in Belfast International Airport in this way and we are confident that the new openings will improve the experience for passengers landside and airside.

"As food travel experts we have been able to provide a fantastic offer with a full choice of options for every passenger, whatever their taste, and we're proud to support employment and training opportunities for local people."

John Doran, Managing Director Belfast International Airport said: "It is very fitting that both the First and Deputy First Ministers are here to open the final phase of the airport's £10m investment in terminal facilities as they launched the project in May 2009.

"We have created modern, spacious and service-focused facilities designed to make the airport easy and convenient to use for all passengers and we certainly believe very fitting for Northern Ireland's principal airport."

See: Belfast International Airport Gets Royal Boost

(BMcC)

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