The newly expanded departure area of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, operated by MBJ Airports Limited has been officially opened.
The project, which commenced in 2017, aims to transform the retail and service offering at the airport to international standards by delivering a memorable and stimulating experience for passengers.
The new design for the departure terminal seamlessly blends creative architectural design with commercial drivers by enhancing natural light, more circulation space and seating for passengers. The new retail program consists of well-appointed concessions creating a sense of place, providing passengers with a memorable experience to indulge in their last moments in Jamaica.
The redevelopment of the 4,000m2 departures area includes an appealing 1,300 m2 walkthrough Duty Free store operated by global travel retailer Dufry at the entrance to the departures retail area. This strategic design has created a functional and effective layout of the entire retail program and provides clear sightlines and footfall to the broader retail offering.
A 12m-high Rotunda double- height space, with a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall creates the focal point of the newly developed food court. Highlighting the food court is a palm-tree inspired bar with wrap around LED screens and the Bob Marley – One Love Restaurant, currently exclusive to Sangster International with a scheduled opening date of February 2023.
Minister of Transport & Mining, Audley Shaw was excited to see the development in the Departure terminal stating, “MBJ Airports have been consistently raising the bar for airports in the region. It serves as a true representation of the vision to bring Jamaica’s aviation into the 21st century and well beyond. Congratulations to the MBJ Airports and the team at the SIA on this new milestone. Job well done!”
Audley Deidrick was equally pleased and commended the management of MBJ on the redevelopment and indicated that this was a prime example of a successful public private partnership and underscores the benefits of such development to the country.
This is a significant moment for Shane Munroe of MBJ, who transitioned into the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the onset of the pandemic. His clear vision and decisive leadership have guided the execution of this project.
Mr. Munroe revealed that “Airports worldwide have been forced to assess their strategic outlook given the impact of the global pandemic. Early lessons taught us at MBJ that we needed to continue responding to the crisis with agility, innovation and a passenger-centric focus into the future. I am truly proud of the entire team that has worked to make this vision a reality and we will be pursuing transformational changes that are equally passenger focused and operationally impactful, future-proofing MBJ’s continued recovery. The completion of this work is one step as we work towards our vision of being a leading tourism destination airport, exceeding the expectations of our passengers, while being uniquely Jamaican.”
In his presentation, Mr. Munroe shared that “every step of the customer journey on Arrival and Departure is an opportunity to win the heart of a visitor so that they will choose to visit Jamaica over and over again. We want our passengers to develop an emotional connection to our country and by extension, Sangster International Airport, creating wow experiences at each step of the journey that will draw them back to Jamaica. Our intention, with facilities such as this Departures area that you see here today, is to do just that, win their hearts, and have them remember why they must visit this beautiful country once more.”
Robbie Gill, Managing Director (The Design Solution) added “Early in 2017, and with many of the retail leases after duty free coming up for renewal, the team from Sangster approached us to see if we could find any further opportunities.
Little did we know how ambitious the airport was. As it turned out, their vision was to create a gateway, that would challenge any other airport in the Caribbean and to both welcome visitors but also to bid them a fond farewell before their next visit. This is the first step towards the airport team’s ultimate ambition. We are so proud to have been part of the journey so far and look forward to the incredible future evolving.”
The newly upgraded Retail offer at Sangster International Airport spans 68 outlets with a wide variety of product listing, with store aesthetics infused with a strong Jamaican ‘sense of place’, creating meaningful experiences for passengers.