22/08/2002

BIA opens £200,000 business lounge

Belfast International Airport (BIA) has opened Northern Ireland's first-ever lounge facility available to all passengers flying on any ticket type with any airline.

The pay-to-use Fitzwilliam Lounge, located in close proximity to domestic and international departure gates, is fully owned by BIA but will be operated by the Fitzwilliam Hotel group, which owns the Fitzwilliam International Hotel on site at the airport. The new lounge has been installed at a cost of £200,000.

The concept of providing a lounge facility for all passengers, regardless of the airline they are flying with, is popular in many other UK airports, but is unique to Northern Ireland where other lounges are still operated by individual airlines.

Designed by local architect Philip Rodgers, the pay-per-use lounge offers Internet access, fax and photocopying facilities and light refreshments. Annual and corporate memberships are also available for regular flyers.

Albert Harrison, Managing Director of BIA, said: “Our £200,000 investment has resulted in a top-class facility at the airport for the many business passengers who choose to fly with low-cost airlines.

"I am confident that the design of the lounge, combined with the excellent service standards provided by The Fitzwilliam Group, will make this lounge extremely popular with the 3.7 million passengers travelling through the airport each year.

"I am delighted that we can offer this unique facility for the first time to the Northern Ireland travelling public.”

The General Manager of the Fitzwilliam International Hotel, Calum MacLachlan, said the lounge extended the hotel's four-star service into the airport terminal, and formalised the growing relationship between The Fitzwilliam International Hotel and Belfast International Airport.

(SP)

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