London City airport has outlined plans of a £12 million upgrade of its existing departures lounge, including more seating and expanded toilet facilities.
The works are being funded by LCY alongside airport catering and retail operator SSP, Lagardère Travel Retail and WHSmith, and will be unveiled in phases, with existing F&B and retail units remaining open until new outlets open.
Once completed the lounge will offer a total of 950 seats (30 per cent more than currently), including a new area in front of a brand new 200 sqm flagship WHSmith store, which is due to open this autumn.
Existing toilets are also being upgraded, with new washroom facilities being created in the airport’s west pier, those in international arrivals being revamped, and those after security being doubled in size.
The current City Bar and Grill is to be replaced by a new Juniper restaurant in spring 2023, similar to the one unveiled at Gatwick’s North Terminal in 2021, and the existing Cabin Bar will also be replaced with “a new SSP restaurant brand”. The new venues will increase capacity by a combined 100 covers.
In addition a new ‘Champagne Cave’ will be created offering refreshments from locally crafted beers to an expanded range of champagne, and a new Soul and Grain eatery has already opened.
Finally Lagardère Travel Retail will launch a tailored Aelia Duty Free Store “including an ‘It’s London’ boutique celebrating the best of local producers and distilleries with a seasonally rotating offer”.
LCY said that 98 per cent of waste produced by the construction works will be recycled, and partners will also support the airport’s ambitions “to eliminate all single use plastics, to become a zero-waste airport and to be a London Living Wage Zone”.
The works follow the recent upgrading of the airport’s passenger wifi provision.
In August 2020 London City announced it would pause its planned terminal extension plans as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commenting on the news London City Airport chief executive officer, Robert Sinclair, said:
“Whilst Covid has postponed our plans to build an entirely new terminal building, it has not diminished our ambition to invest in providing a London centric experience we know passengers want and have been waiting for.
“Our recovery in 2022 has been strong, and we and our partners, want to be ready to deliver an even better service in 2023 for even more passengers.
“The airport, Lagardère Travel Retail, SSP and WHSmith are also committed to championing ‘Brand London’ and amazing products from across our capital. It’s especially pleasing that they also share many of the ambitions outlined in our Sustainability Roadmap.”