Auckland Airport takes top FAB honors

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The new-look international terminal restaurant precinct at Auckland Airport in New Zealand was voted the Airport Food & Beverage Offer of the Year at the 2019 Airport Food & Beverage (FAB) Awards in Dallas, Texas.

“As Auckland Airport continues to develop New Zealand’s flight connections to the world, we are striving to deliver a world-class experience for every customer that passes through our doors”, said Richard Barker, general manager retail and commercial at the airport.

“The FAB Awards are the global food and beverage Olympics in our industry. Auckland Airport was competing with very high-profile global airports and we are absolutely delighted to have been recognized for our approach to creating an airport dining offer that Kiwis can be proud of.”

“The last 18 months have seen the airport change and update more than 27 food and beverage offerings across the airport, and the international terminal offers recognized by this award represent the lion’s share of these.”

Completed in phases during 2018-2019 as part of an expanded international terminal departures area, the 14 brand-new food and beverage outlets post-security offer everything from award-winning Italian and Vietnamese food, to popular high street brands.

Much of the transformation reflects customer requests for more variety – from restaurant-style meals to modern grab-and-go food. Dining options have more than doubled, as have seating areas, with an overall design that embraces the unique views onto the runway and harbor, enabling travelers to relax and enjoy the final stages of their pre-departure journey.

“As the major gateway to, and face of, NZ we take our responsibility of hosting our guests seriously. At the heart of everything we do is the guiding principle of manaakitanga – hospitality, kindness, generosity and respect for others,” said Barker.

This year’s FAB Awards were the most hotly contested in the event’s eight-year history, according to Martin Moodie, founder and chairman of The Moodie Davitt Report, organizer of the annual FAB Awards.

“Auckland Airport’s overall success – and that of its individual operators – was particularly notable in the face of white-hot international competition, including some of the world’s most renowned airports, ones known for their outstanding food and beverage offers, such as Dubai International, Singapore Changi and Hong Kong International,” said Moodie.

“Besides the eclectic mix of outlets and the consistent high quality shown across the board, it was the transformation of offer that ultimately won the day,” he continued. “It appeared to the judges to be a transformation borne out of a philosophy. One involving, to quote the airport operator: ‘A refusal to accept standard [old, out-dated] mass airport F&B where the customer is believed to be a captive.’ We applaud both that thinking and the compelling end result.”

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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