Up, up and away for soar­ing air­port pas­sen­ger fig­ures

Wilmslow Express - - NEWS -

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.

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