Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomed its newest airline today with the arrival from Reykjavik of the first flight to and from Liverpool by new Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY.
The refurbished Information Desk at Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) was officially opened today by Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).
With over 5.5 million passengers now passing through LJLA’s terminal building each year, including a significant rise in European in-bound visitors, the multi-purpose information desk required a major upgrade and expansion to cope with increased enquiries and to create a favourable first impression of the Airport and the city.
The desk operates as a partnership between the Airport, The Liverpool Culture Company and Merseytravel who have all part funded the refurbishment, with additional funding having been made available by the NWDA via The Mersey Partnership.
Specialist design consultants, BroomeJenkins were brought in by the Airport once again, following the success of their ‘Air Portal’ tourism branding initiative which saw various artwork and branding installed across the Airport last year ahead of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations.
The design team have successfully implemented a number of improvements including improved space for back office functions and storage, enhanced customer-facing facilities and merchandising and the revised layout of two adjacent units that separately cater for tourist and public transport information. The desk also mirrors many of the design features of the successful ’08 Place’ Tourist Information Centre (TIC) in Liverpool City Centre, currently Enjoy England’s TIC of the Year. Across the City, the surge in cultural tourism this year has seen a 150% increase to Liverpool’s Tourist Information Centres.
The retail space that sells maps, guides and souvenirs has been extended and moved closer to where departing passengers check-in, whilst the Merseytravel unit that gives public transport information to passengers travelling into Liverpool and beyond, is now more accessible for passenger arrivals.
Neil Pakey, Deputy CEO of Peel Airports commented, ”We have seen an increasing number of foreign visitors in recent years and like many others we are confident that numbers will continue to increase well beyond this year’s Capital of Culture celebrations. It is therefore important that we have facilities here at the Airport that make information provision as easy and attractive as possible as well as improving the welfare of the staff who work there.”
The Airport Company is therefore delighted with the new Information Desk which will undoubtedly attract passengers over to find out more about what’s happening and how to get there.”
Steven Broomhead said: “Liverpool John Lennon is one of the UK’s fastest growing regional airports and a gateway to Liverpool and the rest of the Northwest. The new Information Desk will be the first port of call for many visitors to the region so it is vital that we create an excellent first impression, providing relevant, up to date information that will help visitors to make the most of their stay and encourage them to discover the wider area.”
Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool Council and Deputy Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said: ”The refurbishment of the airport information desk is a vital part of a city-wide operation to provide a first-class welcome worthy of a premier European city. The airport is a key gateway and it is great to see it has an information desk which we are proud to operate. It also completes our improvement programme since taking over the tourist information service, which includes a new 24/7 telephone information line and the opening of the Albert Dock Visitor Centre.”
Pam Wilsher, Acting, Director of Tourism at The Mersey Partnership (TMP) said: “More and more of our visitors are arriving at LJLA and the growth of our visitor economy goes hand in hand with development of the Airport, so these new facilities will ensure people have access to a range of information services. Point of arrival is a critical part of every visitor’s journey and perception of their destination and these new facilities will enhance both.”
Councillor Mark Dowd, Chair of Merseytravel, said: “Air passengers want quick and easy access to travel advice and we hope this information point will be a valuable new resource for them.
“We’ve managed to exceed the targets we set to get people to the airport by public transport by improving the rail and bus links; Liverpool South Parkway interchange has been very successful example of that. This information point is another step forward.”
Lufthansa’s new service to Frankfurt takes off from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, bringing the return of global connectivity for the city for the first time in over 10 years.
A new service by PLAY airlines will connect Liverpool with Reykjavík and four eastern US cities.