Airport restaurants begin to rebound with increasing travel demand
Airport hospitality venues are beginning to rebound from the pandemic, with Pret reporting higher sales of espressos and croissants at London airports for the first time since before the crisis.
Bloomberg's Pret Index showed pre-boarding transactions at Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and City terminals were entirely back to normal last week in a sign that the airline industry was returning to health.
That was in spite of some destinations, such as Hong Kong, still enacting stringent restrictions, Russia's war in Ukraine forcing changes to routes and an IT problem at British Airways causing the cancellation of many flights last week.
After rising for 10 consecutive weeks, the Pret Index for London airports hit 105% of its pre-Covid base, up nine percentage points from the previous week.
Meanwhile, Wagamama reopened all its airport restaurants. The brand's airport restaurants were the last to reopen following the national lockdown two years ago. This final phase of reopening was triggered by a "huge demand" for foreign travel and forthcoming summer holidays.
Gatwick South reopened on Wednesday 30 March, followed by its Manchester Terminal 2 restaurant which opened its doors for the first time on Friday 1 April.
This means that all five airport Wagamama restaurants will be open across Gatwick South and North, Heathrow T3 and T5, and Manchester T2.
Wagamama marketing manager Alice Eagle said: "We are so excited to finally be able to open all of our airport restaurant locations to meet the growing demand for international travel. We have welcomed our guests to enjoy our airport exclusive breakfast, as well as our main menu for several years now in Gatwick and Heathrow, and due to demand, are excited to be opening a brand new restaurant location at Manchester Airport T2 and reopening our iconic Gatwick South restaurant. We look forward to being able to continue nourishing the nation with a pre-flight pick me up."