A celebratory event within the terminal, Cardiff Airport marked the official unveiling of significant developments and improvements to Wales’ national airport.
Following months of works, many new aspects of the terminal and its surrounding infrastructure were revealed at the event to mark the start of the summer season and the next exciting phase in the Airport’s transformation.
The new look Departure Lounge was officially opened by The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates and Welsh international rugby union and Lions star Sam Warburton OBE, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque made from Welsh slate.
Guests from Welsh business, local politicians, contractors who played a key role in the projects along with media and online influencers also enjoyed a tour of the new-look Departure Lounge, sampled products and enjoyed entertainment by Only Boys Aloud. Guests were also treated to a limited edition goody bag filled with ‘Super CWL’ gifts, created in partnership with I Loves the ‘Diff to celebrate the terminal developments.
The £4 million investment into the improvement of the customer experience has seen developments to both the terminal and the Airport’s surrounding infrastructure.
Within the terminal these include:
- Additional seating in the Departure Lounge for passengers to relax before travelling, with stunning views of the runway
- WH Smith has relocated and extended its store in the Departure Lounge. The store now offers many more products including a Well Pharmacy range
- Two new Costa Coffee branches, one in the Arrivals Hall and a larger café for passengers in the Departure Lounge, offering a selection of healthy snacks, hot food options, sweet treats and hot beverages prepared by trained baristas
- A new look Executive Lounge and a brand new Business Lounge, renamed the 51ׄׄ° Lounge
- Upgrading the hold baggage screening system to meet enhanced security requirements.
Further improvements to Cardiff Airport’s surrounding infrastructure includes the opening of a new car hire centre, which is located close to the main terminal and is a base for EuropCar, Enterprise, Hertz and Avis to welcome visitors to Wales.
The car park will also be enhanced with the addition of a brand new Meet and Greet facility for customers, which is due to launch in the coming months.
Deb Barber, CEO at Cardiff Airport said;
“Today’s unveiling is the culmination of months of planning and the hard work of the Cardiff Airport team and contractors who supported our vision of being an outstanding capital city airport delivering an exceptional customer experience.
“The latest investment will significantly transform the experience for customers, offering more choice and quality in modern, welcoming surroundings. This is especially important at a time when we are experiencing passenger growth and working with our airline partners to introduce more choice in services for our customers.
“With the summer season now underway and the imminent launch of Qatar Airways on May 1st these latest improvements show our commitment to our customers and we sincerely hope that everyone travelling through Cardiff will enjoy these new facilities.”
Ken Skates, cabinet secretary for economy and transport, added:
“I am delighted to be unveiling Cardiff Airport’s new departure longue today, along with the other improvements that have been designed to improve the customer experience.P
“Since the Welsh Government acquired Cardiff Airport it has gone from strength to strength with passenger numbers now at nearly 1.5 million a year, and flights from the Airport landing at over 50 destinations.
“These latest improvements come at an exciting time for the Airport with new routes, including Qatar Airways’ long haul flights to the Middle East, starting soon and opening up exciting and new tourism and trade links between South Wales and the rest of the world. These new facilities put us in an excellent position to make the very most of those opportunities.”
Passenger numbers as of the end of the 2017/18 are currently 10% up, with over 1.48 million having flown through Cardiff Airport over the last 12 months. Passenger growth has grown by more than 50% since the change of ownership in March 2013, with double digit growth projected for the coming year.