London City Airport unveiles a major £12m investment to refurbish its departures area


London City Airport today unveils a major investment in refurbishing its departures area to enhance the customer experience for its passengers and celebrate London businesses and brands.

The airport is embarking on a £12m upgrade along with SSP, Lagardère Travel Retail and WHSmith, which will see more seating, two new stylish dining experiences, duty free expansion, new retail space, more washrooms, and a brand-new look and feel throughout the departure lounge.

The refurbishment, which is set to be completed by Summer 2023, will be carried out in phases with new F&B and retail units opening before old ones close, to create a seamless transition for passengers using the airport.

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. Exciting premium brands such as Creed and Aesop will be welcomed, and passengers will be able to enjoy a wide range of refreshments, from locally crafted beers to an expanded range of champagne, which will sit in a beautiful ‘Champagne Cave’.

The upgrade will increase seating by 30% (950 in total), with the creation of a new area in front of a brand new 200mtr² flagship WHSmith store in Autumn 2022, which will also boast both an expanded and distinctively London product range, providing a one-stop-shop solution, including books and magazines, health and beauty products, souvenirs, digital accessories and food and drink options.

The airport’s “City Bar & Grill” will be replaced by the new “Juniper” restaurant in Spring 2023, which will provide passengers with a greater level of service from a new bar area and full-service kitchen, plus an overall increase of 80 covers.

In addition, the airport’s “Cabin Bar” will be replaced with a new SSP restaurant brand, offering a new menu, greater levels of service and an overall increase of 20 covers.

The airport is also upgrading existing washroom facilities, including creating a new facility in its west pier, revamping those in international arrivals and doubling the size of facilities immediately after security.

As part of London City Airport’s commitment to sustainability, the refurbishment will also see 98% of waste produced by construction be diverted from landfill and recycled. 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.

Feedback from passengers indicated that they were keen to see improvements in the number of seats, the standard of washrooms and improved food & beverage options. Recently, LCY made an investment in upgrading to high-speed, unlimited Wi-Fi for passengers, and overall, the £12 million investment represents a commitment to providing an airport experience that not only provides speed, but choice and space.

More immediately, a new eatery ‘Soul & Grain’ has already opened, increasing the range of fresh food, including more vegan and vegetarian options, available to passengers.

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 WH Smith are also committed to championing ‘Brand London’ and amazing products from across our capital. It’s also especially pleasing that they also share many of the ambitions outlined in our Sustainability Roadmap.”