Auckland Airport has completed a five-year project to upgrade and expand its 36,000 sqm international terminal departure area.

The opening of a two-story Vantage Bar by Emirates Leisure Retail (a subsidiary of Emirates Group) marked the completion of the multimillion-dollar refurbishment of the departure area.

“As the name suggests, Vantage Bar has it all. A series of large-scale screens for the sports enthusiast, epic views of the runway, and a dynamic two-level design located in the most prominent location in the International Terminal,” said Justin Scotti, managing director of Emirates Leisure Retail ANZ.

Some of the key features of the refurbished area include upgraded bathroom facilities, a dedicated “recompose area” post security for “customers to repack and get organised”, new charging points to power devices, as well as two hours of free Wi-Fi for all visitors and extended hours for members of the airport’s loyalty programme Strata Club.

Travellers can choose from 14 new food and beverage outlets, whose offerings include Vietnamese, Italian food and Chinese dumplings, as well as New Zealand food brands such as Al Brown – Best Ugly Bagel, Mexico Food and Liquor, and Better Burger.

In total, 32 new retail concepts have been added to this area, including Auckland clothing brand Icebreaker, Manuka honey, Whittaker’s Chocolate and an All Blacks Adidas outlet. Luxury international brands include Kate Spade, Weekend Max Mara and Michael Kors – the first time these stores have opened in New Zealand.

The terminal also features contemporary Maori design and illustration by award-winning artist Johnson Witehira.

“We expect the opening of Vantage Bar and the impact of the finished space to greatly add to our guests’ journeys. It will build on the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had to date, with our customer satisfaction rating for the International Terminal reaching its highest point in 12 years,” said Richard Barker, Auckland Airport’s general manager of retail and commercial.