Manchester Airport gearing up for busy February half-term


•                  The Northern hub is set to welcome almost half a million outbound passengers over the period of Saturday 11th – Sunday 26th February

•                  Popular destinations include Dubai, Paris, Tenerife, Alicante and Lanzarote

•                  Passengers reminded to plan their journey to the airport, check for their airline’s guidance on what time they need to arrive, and familiarise themselves on hand luggage rules

Manchester Airport is expecting a bumper fortnight over February half-term, as families escape in search of some final winter sun.

More than 200,000 passengers are expected to fly from the Northern hub this week, with pupils in areas including Merseyside, Trafford and Yorkshire on their breaks – and a further 275,000 or so will follow next week, as schools in most of Greater Manchester and Cheshire close.

Popular destinations include Dubai, Paris, Tenerife, Alicante and Lanzarote.

This February half-term is the first free of Covid-19 travel restrictions since February 2020, and the airport is now seeing passenger numbers exceeding 90 per cent of 2019 levels for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Earlier this week, it announced a strong start to 2023, with over 1.6m passengers departing from or arriving into Manchester in January – more than double the 750,000 or so who travelled through in the same month last year, when Omicron testing requirements remained in place.

The airport also revealed more than 92 per cent of passengers cleared security in under 10 minutes last month, and it expects that to continue throughout February.

That has been driven by a major recruitment drive that has seen more than 2,000 new colleagues join the business in 2022, with around 1,100 in security alone.

A jobs fair held earlier this month saw more than 650 turn out in the hope of securing roles, both with the airport, and its partners, including ground handling firm Swissport.

Those travelling through over February half-term are being reminded to check with their airline on when they will need to arrive at the airport – normally two to three hours before departure – and to familiarise themselves with hand luggage rules. This includes the limits in place on liquids, gels and pastes, which must be placed in a clear plastic bag in containers under 100ml.

Travellers are also advised to plan their journey to the airport and check for travel disruption before setting off.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said: “We look forward to welcoming almost half a million passengers over the half term period, and helping them get their trips off to the best possible start.

“Despite the pressures on household budgets, families remain keen to travel and we are confident that passenger numbers will continue to recover into the summer.

“During busy periods it is important that you carefully plan your journey to the airport and allow plenty of time. We have seen disruption on the rail network in recent months, so this advice is particularly important if you are travelling to the airport by train.”

Top 10 destinations by capacity (18 – 26 February):

1)         Dublin

2)         Dubai

3)         Tenerife

4)         Amsterdam

5)         Paris CDG

6)         Geneva

7)         Alicante

8)         Doha

9)         Lanzarote

10)       Istanbul