Manchester Airport gears up for busy festive season


· More than 22,000 people due to fly out to Lapland this month on 132 extra flights

· Newly published data shows Manchester Airport beat pre-pandemic passenger levels for the second month in a row

· The period over Christmas and New Year is set to be almost as busy as the peak of summer with 780,000 passengers flying in 11 days

More than 22,000 festive flyers will visit Santa from Manchester Airport this month – with more than 130 extra departures laid on to accommodate visits to Lapland.

That means Manchester Airport is anticipating a bumper month following a successful November, which saw it beat 2019 traffic levels for the second consecutive month.

The busiest part of the festive period will be the two weeks between Friday, 22 December, and Tuesday, 2 January, when the airport is due to serve almost 780,000 passengers – comparable to the peak of the summer season.

A large proportion of the extra flights over the festive period will be serving airports in Finland- Ivalo, Kittila, Enontekio, Kuusamo and Rovaniemi - which all give access to Lapland, famously home to Father Christmas and a great location to see the Northern Lights.

Most of these flights will go from the airport’s new Terminal 2, which is part of its £1.3bn transformation programme and recently got recognised by the prestigious, UNESCO-backed Prix Versailles.

The Finnish airports will receive 132 flights from Manchester carrying 22,500 passengers over the course of the month.

The projections come as Manchester Airport publishes its passenger stats for November. Almost 1.9m passengers flew to or from the UK’s global gateway in the North in November, compared to 1.6m in November 2022 and 1.8m in 2019, before the global pandemic.

Over the course of the month, 99.7% of passengers queued for less than 15 minutes to get to security – with nine in 10 passengers getting to security in under five minutes.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Aiport, said:

"Here at Manchester Airport we’re really proud to serve the people of the North by playing a key part in the festive season. 

“Walking through the terminals at Christmas is a truly exciting experience. You can see joyful families being reunited in arrivals and departures packed with excited children on their way to Lapland. 

“We serve more destinations than any airport outside London and that means we’re able to make Christmas wishes come true for thousands of people. 

“We’ve worked hard this year to make sure people’s experiences of the airport are positive. We’re now seeing demand for travel increasing beyond pre-pandemic levels but at the same time we’ve driven down the time people spend queuing to get to security to below 15minutes for 99% of passengers. 

“That means I feel confident that this year’s festive flyers will get the perfect start to their journeys at Manchester Airport.”

The most popular destinations in November were:

Amsterdam – 86,991 passengers

Dublin – 86,617

Dubai – 85,102

Tenerife – 83,306

Alicante – 61,790

Also in November, Manchester Airport’s new Terminal 2 was recognised as one of the most beautiful airport buildings in the world by the prestigious Prix Versailles. The Prix Versailles is an independent, UNESCO-backed award that recognises excellent design and architecture.

It opened in 2021 and is part of the ongoing £1.3bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme. Although it has already been given the award, the project to completely redevelop Terminal 2 is only halfway

through. By the time it is finished in 2025 the terminal will have almost doubled in size and serve nearly 80% of the airport’s passengers. You can read more about the Prix Versailles here.