Manchester Airport hits 26million passenger milestone

Manchester Airport is continuing to break its own passenger records after more than 26 million passengers passed through the airport over the last 12 months.

After 35 months of consecutive growth, the UK’s third largest airport flew through the 26 million annual passenger mark in February. The continued growth over the last year has meant Manchester Airport is now in Europe’s Top 20 busiest airports.

1,659,843 passengers used the Northern gateway in February – an 11% increase on 2016. Staggered half terms for children across the airport’s wider catchment area and expanded winter programmes from the likes of Ryanair, Flybe, easyJet and Jet2.com has helped to drive the growth. Plus the continued growth to long haul destinations can be attributed to the increase.

February saw Royal Air Maroc announce flights to Casablanca, Saudia Airlines announce flights to Riyadh and Ryanair announce a new route to Frankfurt. March will also see the start of direct flights to San Francisco and Boston with Virgin Atlantic.

Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport CEO, said: “It’s been another strong month of growth for Manchester Airport and passing the 26 million passenger mark is another important milestone for us.

“Growth has been delivered across the board, reflecting the fact Manchester is now one of the world’s top 15 airports when it comes to the number of different destinations flown to.

“It is particularly pleasing to see the continued growth of our long haul network with the announcements of new routes to Casablanca and Riyadh giving the 22 million people in our catchment area even more choice.

“Looking ahead, new services to San Francisco, with both Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook, will launch shortly and deliver a boost to leisure and business passengers alike.

“We are also looking forward to pressing ahead with our £1bn Transformation Programme, which will pave the way for more growth in the years to come, at the same time as providing our passengers with world class service levels.”

Due to the extra demand aircraft movements were also up last month by 7.2%, with more than 13,200 planes taking off and landing on the airport’s two full length runways.

Cargo also saw a boost with 8,066 tonnes carried, an increase of 11.24% on February 2016. It equates to a 10% year on year increase with the annual rolling tonnage now at 115,040.