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19 Jun 2024

Major terminal upgrade to see Christchurch Airport fresh for summer

Christchurch Airport’s unveiled plans for a revamp of its terminal offering with the new facilities expected to be ready for a busy summer of international visitors. The project will deliver 12 new eateries, new retail spaces, upgraded bathrooms, a new parent’s room, a remodelled food court and a large children’s play area.

Airport chief executive Justin Watson says it’s the first major upgrade since the terminal opened in 2013.

“This major project will take a great terminal and make it even greater. It’ll modernise our food and beverage offering with a distinctly Kiwi flavour, and provide much needed entertainment.”

Two of the new eateries, Fush and Tātou, will be operated by Ōtautahi entrepreneurs Anton and Jess Matthews and Māia Gooday who are known for their work in the community and championing te reo – along with exceptional hospitality experiences.

“We’re excited! There’s probably no better place for us to show manaakitanga than at the South Island’s gateway. We’re currently recruiting an extra 30 kaimahi (staff) who’ll definitely bring a whole new vibe to the Christchurch Airport whānau,” says Anton.

Christchurch business people Shawn Kim and Yong Song, who already own Sushi Platter in the terminal will deliver three new outlets in the food court.

“Hikari will serve ramen and donburi and Mama’s Kitchen will offer mouthwatering Korean street food. A new version of the Sushi Platter will sit right next to them,” says Shawn.

“We’re privileged that Christchurch Airport has given us this opportunity to share our cuisine and culture with travellers. We’re incredibly grateful to grow our presence in the airport community.”

David Cooper, Christchurch Airport’s GM of Customer and Commercial says the airport’s formed a strong partnership with global company SSP which will see both parties collectively contribute to a really modern refreshed area that we’ll be proud to show customers.

“SSP specialise in airport food and beverage offerings and operate in 37 countries. Their goal is to be the best bit of any customer’s journey – we’re lucky to be their first entry into the New Zealand market. We’re grateful for their support which enables us to deliver the first major refresh of the terminal in over ten years.”

SSP will operate seven outlets. There’ll be an impressive and inviting bar and restaurant named Portal at the top of the escalator where Number 8 café is now, a new café Fern and Co beside the entry to aviation security and a new café Urban Pantry in the regional departure lounge which includes a range of ‘grab and go’ options. They’ll also have an all-day café called Discovered in international arrivals.

Digitisation will feature in the project with more self-service kiosks and interactive screens to help future proof the airport and further improve efficiency for all visitors to the terminal.

Business Canterbury CEO Leeann Watson says Christchurch Airport is an important engine room for the Canterbury economy.

“This investment is a win for the region’s businesses. It will bring additional visitors to our region and, position the region and the South Island well for future growth. We’ve always thought Christchurch Airport is the best airport in the country – this will ensure it stays that way.”

ChristchurchNZ Head of Tourism Kath Low says the project will drive revenue growth for the airport which is good for Ōtautahi.

“Christchurch Airport plays an important role in delivering international visitors to our region which has enormous economic and social benefits. This summer is already shaping up to be a big visitor season and this project gives them another reason to come and see all our city has to offer – it is great news.”

Justin Watson says the upgrade should be completed by December with predictions that visitor numbers will be even higher than last summer.

“Qantas, China Southern, Cathay Pacific, Fiji Airways and United Airlines have already confirmed they will all be back flying summer services to the city and they’re growing their capacity. For example, Qantas will have an extra 175,000 seats and China Southern is boosting its capacity by 20,000 seats.

“Last summer season (from November to March) we had 2.7 million passenger movements at Christchurch Airport. We’re on track to top that next summer season and it’s awesome to know the terminal will be refreshed and ready to welcome our visitors with some of our best manaakitanga and offerings yet,” says Justin Watson.