NI Travel News’ Editor KIRSTY JOHNSTON looks back at 80 years of Dublin Airport (and the new developments in T2) as the airport celebrates the milestone anniversary this year…
Dublin Airport (or Collinstown Airport as it was known then) officially opened at 9am on the morning of January 19, 1940. It was a cold Friday morning as the inaugural flight – an Aer Lingus Lockheed 14 – took off bound for Liverpool and on January 19, 2020, Dublin Airport will celebrate 80 years of service.
Designed by an elder brother of former Taoiseach Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Desmond FitzGerald, the curved building, with its tiered floors, was designed to echo the lines of a great ocean liner and won many architectural awards at the time. The original terminal building was designed to cater for just 100,000 passengers a year.
Now more than 400 million passengers have passed through its terminals since that first flight took off in 1940 and the airport has undergone many changes. The old terminal, which is now a listed building, is still partially used for daily passengers operations and many of the internal design features have been retained as a reminder of those early days of aviation.
By 1947 flights departing from Dublin Airport were reaching as far as Continental Europe, with Dutch airline KLM beginning the first European service to Dublin. New concrete runways were completed in 1948and in 1950 – after 10 years in operation – the airport had been used by a total of 920,000 passengers.
By the late 50s the original terminal was incapable of handling the growing numbers of passengers passing through the terminal so the new North Terminal was opened in June 1959.
By the late 1960s it had become apparent that the original terminal building could no longer cope with the amount of passengers passing through and so in 1971 work began on a new terminal building designed to cater for an expected six million passengers per year. The new £10 million terminal opened in June 1972.
The airport has greatly expanded over the years since then with the addition of a new terminal, departure gate piers, an extension to the 1971 terminal building, a new runway and taxiways.
In November 2010, Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 and its connected boarding gate pier were opened. The award-wining new terminal allows the airport to now handle more than 30 million passengers per year ensuring that Dublin Airport continues to be what Desmond FitzGerald had originally envisaged – a modern European airport that is Ireland’s premier aviation getaway.
Passenger experience is one of the key concerns at Dublin Airport. The aim? Passengers should feel like they have started their holiday the minute they arrive at the airport. After checking-in and passing through security passengers are able to take a deep relaxing breath and enjoy The Loop.
Featuring over 100 beauty brands, including international favourites Jo Malone, Tom Ford, La Mer, Dior, Estée Lauder, Clarins, Clinique, Lancôme, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C and Chanel, The Loop is home to one of Ireland’s largest beauty emporiums. With a saving of at least 15% on beauty favourites compared to downtown prices and up to 40% off selected lines.
And passengers travelling through Dublin Airport’s T2 now have an even greater reason to check-in early as a major revamp of The Loop has just been completed. The final element of The Loop’s upgrade is a new beauty hall, which is Ireland’s largest, featuring an unrivalled range of perfume and cosmetic products. The store will have 90 brands on offer, including 30 brands that are new to Dublin Airport such as Maison Christian Dior boutique, Byredo, Nars and hourglass and NI Travel News’ Editor was invited down to spend the morning in this shopping mecca.
The best part of any airport is the beauty hall, surely I can’t be alone in thinking this? Although I’m certainly no beauty guru, I do love to test out the new trends and I am a sucker for any cream which promises me eternal youth!
Is it even possible to walk through without buying something?
The new state-of-the-art retail space offers both Irish and international travellers one of the finest travel retail experiences in the world – indeed its the only place in Ireland you can find a Maison Christian Dior boutique. While I was visiting, staff from UK store (including the UK fragrance expert) were also visiting The Loop and I was honoured with a personalised hand’s on explorations into the history of Dior scent.
In fact it’s a treat… all part of the holiday experience.
There has been plenty of activity at T2 in The Loop at Dublin Airport over the last year or so, as the expansion of the Beauty Hall was underway. The T2 beauty hall has doubled in size as part of the revamp, which began in 2018.
That development is now complete and the upgraded shopping area has launched with 30 new beauty brands added to the already vast selection on offer.
The 944 square metre innovative retail space offers shoppers new brands across the key categories of fragrance, skincare, makeup and haircare, and showcases global favourites and niche brands. The sleek design of the new beauty hall was developed with the modern consumer in mind.
Shopping at The Loop was already a great experience for the savvy beauty fan who knows the discounts there, now it’s even better.
A top tip is to arrive early! Allowing yourself time to enjoy the wonderful shopping experience and great savings, including premium brands at duty-free prices and airport shopping exclusives! With an abundance of skincare, cosmetics and fragrances, The Loop is the perfect place to treat yourself. Pick up the best value in beauty with leading brands like Chanel (in store only), La Mer, Too Faced, Estée Lauder, MAC, Clarins and Dior, to name but a few! You’ll be spoiled for choice with over 1,000 different spirits, whiskey’s, liqueurs, creams and wines. Also, the new concept sunglass store ‘Spectrum’ and jewellery concept ‘Gem & I’ are definitely worth a visit, as well as luxury brand Coach, all of which opened in Dublin in 2019.
With niche brands, a sense of place, a focus on digital (you can quickly try out new cosmetics via an interactive mirror display) and unrivalled variety of brands; the new beauty hall at The Loop at T2, Dublin Airport, ticks travel retail’s hottest points and aims to become one of the best examples of the sector globally.
Exclusive shopping experiences at the T2 Beauty Hall include luxury fragrance houses Le Labo and Byredo. The T2 beauty hall is also the first travel retailer globally to house haircare innovators, Living Proof and luxury beauty brand, hourglass Cosmetics.
Passengers with a sweet tooth will delight at the new-look confectionery department in The Loop at T2, where a special emphasis has been put on luxury chocolates from home and abroad. The new Chocolatier Collection celebrates the finest Irish chocolatiers, including Butlers, Lír, Lily O’Briens, The Chocolate Garden and Skellig’s Chocolate, as well as Belgian maestros Guylian and Leonidas.
In addition, passengers can find travel favourites such as Kinder and Toblerone, as well as Irish brands such as Mileeven Honey and The Lismore Food Company.
Buyers across the new The Loop at T2 have actively sourced brands and products that are taking steps towards sustainable production. The growing consumer demand for vegan-friendly beauty has seen the introduction of brands such as bareMinerals, Toofaced and REN, as well as vegan-friendly products by hourglass Cosmetics and Pestle & Mortar.
Sustainable practices are not just confined to the beauty hall, however. Belgian chocolatier, Leonidas sources cocoa from its own cocoa plantation, where free education and healthcare is provided to its workers and their families. Meanwhile, Guylian has spearheaded “Project Seahorse” – an initiative dedicated to preserving seahorses, their habitats and other marine life globally.
The new Design Ireland store at Terminal 2 features a specially selected collection of work by 24 Irish design and craft brands, showcasing the best of Irish creativity to passengers from all over the world. It features a range of beautifully crafted products designed and made in Ireland across categories such as jewellery, ceramics, gifts, wellness, accessories and clothing.
Design Ireland, presented by Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), is a consumer-facing premium brand that features more than 190 individual brands selected by an independent jury for their high standards of both design and manufacture. Twenty-four of these brands have been chosen by The Loop to feature in the new store.
The new store in T2 features an array of products from 24 designers based across the country. The range includes jewellery designers Chupi from Dublin, ENIBAS from Cork and Martina Hamilton from Sligo, and fashion items from Hanna Hats of Donegal, Emblem Weavers in Wexford, and Mourne Textiles in Co Down.
Other products featured in the store include candles made from all-natural ingredients from the world’s oldest candle company Rathbornes Candles, which was established in Dublin in 1488, skincare and wellness products from Modern Botany, which is based in Schull in Cork and textile artist Martina Scott from Louth with her unique limited-edition Irish linen prints.
Further to this Dublin Airport has also launched a new digital shopping wall, offering passengers the opportunity to shop at the gate.
The digital shopping wall, which is located in the 100 gates boarding area, offers a range of products from The Loop. Items on the shopping wall are linked to a QR code that can be scanned into a smartphone which brings passengers to the specific item, then offers a further option to browse The Loop’s website.
Any of the 18 products purchased at the digital wall or from The Loop’s website are then available at the Shop & Collect desk in the Arrivals Hall for passengers to collect on their return.