Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) and SSP Group, a top global operator of food and beverage outlets, have signed a new long-term agreement that will keep SSP Group operating at the airport through at least 2036.
SSP, which has been operating at the airport for more than 20 years, will be making a sizable investment there as part of the new agreement. The capacity of SSP’s restaurants will be increased by almost half thanks to the renovation, rebranding, or extension of all of their current locations as well as the creation of new ones.
The fresh venture will be a part of the airport’s strategies to accommodate the growing volume of travellers. This includes the arrival of Jet2, a new airline at the airport that will launch later this year and offer up to 54 weekly flights to 20 destinations spread across six countries.
The £9 million investment is currently in progress and will totally change the airport’s food and beverage selection. Sable & Co Bar and Kitchen, an upscale restaurant that will take pride of place on the mezzanine level after World Duty-Free, is part of the first phase of development. It is expected to open in the spring. A food and drink menu will curate the best of local ingredients and suppliers, serving them in a design-led environment.
Last month saw the opening of a new Burger King and a bar concept called Tap & Brew, which serves a variety of regional craft beers in addition to well-known international brands.
In the next phase, SSP will create a modern American-style diner with an all-day menu for those seeking a classic meal, as well as renovate an existing Upper Crust and a Starbucks coffee shop. The popular Kissing Gate pub is being extended to offer a vibrant spot for enjoying a drink or bite to eat before a flight.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport’s passenger numbers grew by 20% in 2023 and are expected to return to pre-Covid levels of 5 million per year in 2024.
Lucy O’Shaughnessy, Commercial Director at LJLA added:
“We’re delighted to be extending our partnership with SSP which has been key to the airport offering a great airport experience for our passengers. This investment will give the growing numbers of passengers choosing to fly from the region’s faster, easier, friendlier airport a wider choice of food and beverage facilities and some really exciting new developments that we’re sure will prove popular with our passengers.”
Kari Daniels, CEO SSP UK & Ireland, said:
“This development is testament to the high standard of our offer over the time we’ve been operating at Liverpool John Lennon. We’ve built strong relationships with the team here, and we’re delighted to be working closely with them now to make the F&B offer at this great UK airport even better. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming passengers at our fabulous new bars, restaurants and cafes.”