Darwin Airport Pens A Ten Year Deal With SSP Group

Food and beverage amenities at Darwin International Airport are getting an upgrade from 1 July 2022 onwards.

Darwin Airport Foodcourt Upgrade
Darwin airport’s wave board, a curved led TV introduced to liven the top end’s busiest airport up. © Digital Place Solutions

A ten-year partnership

A ten-year partnership between Airport Development Group  (ADG) and SSP Group plc, a travel food and beverage operator working in 36 countries, brings this upgrade to Darwin International  Airport and Alice Springs Airport. ADG is a Darwin-based company holding significant assets across the Northern Territory in airports, hotels, utilities and property portfolios.  Together these two organizations plan to transform Darwin Airport’s food and beverage facilities in stages over several months.

Food & beverage offerings enhance customer experience

In recent communication published by Darwin Airport, Executive General Manager Property and Terminal Ross Baynes said, “Food and beverage offerings at airports are inextricably linked to customer experience, so it is really important we offer variety, quality and value”.

As a local resident and frequent user of Darwin Airport, I agree. There have been so many times when I’ve been at the terminal waiting to catch flights at odd hours, like 2am and found not a single coffee shop or restaurant open when I wanted something to eat or drink. Until now, the choice of food and beverage venues at the airport has also been very limited, ranging from a few fast food venues to one high-end restaurant.

“I’d love to see more restaurants and even a better bar at the airport,” said one local Charles Darwin University student.

It’s not just the addition of new food and beverage outlets that the airport needs to think about but keeping at least some of these outlets open at all hours. That is the competitive edge that top-tier airports like Changi in Singapore have over many Australian airports.

Darwin airport entrance
Darwin airport entrance © Just Go

New amenities proposed at Darwin Airport

From 1 July 2022, The Northern Common, Asian Kitchen, Top End Burgers, Crate and Maccinetta will open progressively, and Hectors will re-open with a new menu. While these restaurants’ names may not be familiar to international visitors yet, no doubt they’ll be glad to have a range of quality food venues to choose from soon when they disembark at Darwin Airport. In the international terminal, Pronto by Maccinetta will also open soon, and the Gliding Goose, Roll’d, Red Rooster and Soul + Grain will all open later in 2022.

New amenities like these will certainly be a drawcard for international and interstate tourists visiting the Northern Territory and locals alike. But the question is, how sustainable will these amenities be in the long run? International and national air travel remain uncertain and unpredictable with ongoing public health issues like COVID 19 and, emerging diseases like Monkeypox. Not least because these public health issues impact on staff’s ability to attend work, and this has been a huge issue for the Northern Territory’s hospitality industry over the last year or so. Here’s hoping these exciting new food and beverage venues can open and operate as planned.

What do you think of the proposed food court at Darwin Airport? Let us know down in the comments!

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Varunika Hapuwatte-Ruwanpura
Varunika Hapuwatte-Ruwanpura
Varunika Ruwanpura is a journalist, author and social sciences researcher. She has over 12 years' experience as a travel, lifestyle and arts journalist. https://www.amazon.com/Varunika-Ruwanpura/e/B00J16EUZA%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share https://researchers.cdu.edu.au/en/persons/varunika-sonani-hapuwatte-ruwanpura

1 COMMENT

1 COMMENT

  1. As a fly-in fly-out worker at a mine, I am at the airport frequently. The outlets available are absolute rubbish (as google reviewed separately by many people), if they’re even open. Top End burgers is absolute garbage, not even worthy of being called a burger place.
    As someone who frequents Darwin airport, I’d advise everyone and anyone to have their dietary requirements sorted well and truly before reaching the airport.

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