SSP in the News 23-June-2011

A significant investment in the food and drink offer for passengers at Belfast International Airport has created more than 65 jobs with five new units including two restaurants and a Burger King outlet.

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness marked the openings, part of a £1.5m investment by food travel experts SSP UK, by visiting Belfast International Airport this week. The investment will transform the experience for incoming and departing passengers, offering new choices and innovative concepts not seen before at the airport.

Alongside a new Burger King 20/20 store design which gives a fresh and contemporary take on the traditional American diner, the airport now offers The Strangford kitchen and grill, The Lagan bar and restaurant, a new Café Bar and Caffe Ritazza. Each venue, with modern environments and ample seating areas, is designed to improve the experience for busy travellers.

The Strangford offers made-to-order meals with 120 seats for diners. Menu highlights include local breakfasts with Irish bacon and sausage, soda farls and a range of pasta and salad options – including an abundant salad bar.

The Lagan builds on the local passion for great food and ales at an honest price, offering an accessible pub experience for travellers with 275 seats. Specially commissioned photography adds to the environment of the bar and restaurant, which offers a menu of freshly prepared favourites using local ingredients.

The Café Bar and Caffe Ritazza, boasting 60 seats each, complement the restaurants with a range of food-to-go, quality coffee served by trained baristas and a choice of indulgent treats.

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 Minsters 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.”

Speaking at the opening, the First Minister 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. 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.  That is why we are striving, for example, to have Air Passenger Duty rates reduced and have raised the issue directly with the Chancellor,”


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