Up, up and away for soaring airport passenger figures
MANCHESTER Airport now deals with more passengers than ever before in its 77-year history.
The gateway today broke its all-time record, with 22.32m people having flown in and out of the airport over the past 12 months.
That breaks the previous 12 month record of 22.26m in July 2006 and comes on what is set to be its busiest day of theEaster period.
And airport bosses say there is more to come, with work to secure yet more routes to far flung destinations like mainland China and the west coast of America well under way.
Ken O’Toole,,T the airport’s newly-appointed managing director, said: “This is a magnificent achievement, an historic milestone for Manchester Airport and UK aviation, as well as a huge boost for the economy and the north of England.”
The milestone means the number of passengers using Manchester has increased by 7.5 per cent over the past year, with last month seeing growth of 10 per cent.
That has been driven by low-cost carriers like easyJet, Ryaniar and Jet2. com all increasing the number of flights they provide.
Mr O’Toole added: “We believe there is not a des- tination in Europe for which there is demand we do not have an existing service to.
“Our objective is now very much about building the frequency of flights to these location.”
Meanwhile, the airport has continued to increase the number of long-haul locations it offers.
Cathay Pacific started a service to Hong Kong in December, which makes Manchester the only airport outside of London with a direct, non-stop service to China. It is currently flying at more than 80 per cent capacity.
Delta is adding a brand new service to New York JFK from next month, while May also sees Manchester become the only airport outside of London to offer a direct route to Miami, with Thomas Cook Airlines’ launch of a twice weekly service.
In terms of the Middle East, Emirates has upgraded one of its triple daily services to include two A380’ s – the world’s largest passenger aircraft and Qatar Airways have now increased frequency to double daily.
Saudia’s Jeddah service and Etihad’s Abu Dhabi service are both performing well, with Iraqi Airways launching two flights a week to Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.
And Turkish Airlines has upped its frequency to triple daily to Istanbul.
Manchester is now the UK’s third largest airport.