Manchester Airport launches campaign to show benefits it brings to the North

  • Pan-Northern campaign highlights how the region benefits from direct connectivity from Manchester Airport
  • Organisations, tourism bodies and businesses from across the North welcome the growth and investment opportunities the airport gives all of the region
  • More Than An Airport campaign highlights how Manchester unlocks, trade, community, business and tourism opportunities for the whole of the North

Some of the North’s most-loved attractions, high-flying businesses and world-famous institutions are set to be showcased to nearly 30m people using UK’s primary Northern gateway.

Manchester Airport has launched a visual campaign to celebrate all the things that make the North a great place to live, visit and trade with.

Called “More than an Airport”, it will see people, businesses, tourist sites, charities and other organisations feature in a series of images that will be displayed across the campus of the UK’s third largest gateway.

The images will also be used across social media, online and at various sites across the whole of the North.

More than 50 companies and individuals from across the North feature in the campaign including: The University of Manchester, Metrolink, award-winning exporters like Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, based in Wigan, several schools across Greater Manchester, plus Agencia and Saltaire Brewery in Yorkshire, tourist attractions in Cumbria, Wales and festivals like Leeds Pride.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport said:

“We know Manchester Airport is the UK’s global gateway in the North, performing a vital role in driving international exports for businesses of all sizes across the region, as well as attracting visitors, students and investors to this great part of the world.

“What the creation of this campaign has done is enable us to fully understand the many ways in which the international connectivity we provide truly makes the North a great place to visit and do business with.

“We are also proud to be able to showcase the many community groups and organisations we support each year and promote businesses who are doing great things around the world through the eye-catching imagery.”

Aimed at highlighting the role Manchester plays in creating jobs, inspiring young people, enabling trade links and attracting investors and visitors to the North, the campaign includes a series of sub-themes, such as:

  • A Community Champion
  • A Good Neighbour
  • A Dream Maker
  • A Bright Future
  • A Deal Maker
  • A Warm Welcome
  • A Gateway to the North
  • A Responsible Business
  • A Diversity Champion

The visually led campaign includes key facts and figures under each theme, such as the fact airport colleagues deliver more than 9,000 hours of volunteering each year, that Manchester Airport provides direct links to 35 of the UK’s top 50 export markets and that visitor attractions have enjoyed a 200% surge in bookings since direct flights to China were launched in 2016.

It will also showcase the lasting legacy the airport’s £1bn transformation will have, be that through job creation, or the world class airport it will create to continue connecting the North to key global hubs. Currently 25,000 people are employed on site and as the airport grows so will this figure.

With more than 29m passengers and an extensive catchment area that reaches as far north as the Scottish borders, south to the Midlands, east across Yorkshire and west to North Wales and Merseyside, Manchester Airport continues to add routes that in the UK can only be found outside of London.

It offers flights to more than 210 destinations, with recently added examples including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Addis Ababa, Singapore and Boston.

Supportive comments from business and individuals involved:


Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“We are delighted to support the Manchester Airport campaign, which showcases all that the North has to offer. Here in Cumbria, the campaign highlights that we are an exceptional place to live, work and invest, as well as visit.

“Many businesses and investors are already aware of Cumbria’s first-rate visitor offer but might be less familiar with the breadth of our economy and the range of employment and investment opportunities available. We therefore welcome this campaign, which will help make sure that that this offer is well understood, nationally and internationally.”

Head of Marketing and Sales at Cumbria Tourism, Rachel Tyson, said:

“Manchester Airport is a key gateway to Northern England and it is fantastic to be part of a campaign which reinforces the warm welcome that we can collectively offer to international visitors. With the lure of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a world-class reputation as a visitor destination, Cumbria’s £3billion tourism industry has a compelling story to tell and it’s an exciting time to be developing some of our most important overseas markets alongside our partners in other northern destinations.”

Ross McMahon, Founder and Chief Executive of Kendal Nutricare, said:

“Kendal Nutricare is the home of family nutrition, proudly manufacturing KENDAMIL, the only British-made formula for early life nutrition and KENDALIFE, for complete adult nutrition. Since 1962, we have combined the finest natural, full-cream milk, sourced from local farms in the Lake District, with world-class manufacturing and food-science talent here in the North of England. As a Northern Powerhouse export champion, Manchester Airport is our gateway to the world, connecting us with customers and partners from our 20+ international markets. We are proud to be recognised by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State as a Board of Trade Gold Award winner, a testament to our product excellence and global ambitions.”


Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool, said:

“Our visitor economy has grown year-on-year over the last decade to the point where it brings £4.3 billion into the city region each year, and having Manchester Airport less than an hour away has been a huge part of that growth. It allows visitors from long-haul markets such as the US, China and India to come directly to the north west; frequently mixing a visit to Liverpool with other cities like Manchester or glorious natural beauty in Lancashire and Cumbria. It is also a huge benefit to our meetings and conferences industry, to businesses working globally and the thousands of international students who make Liverpool their home each year.”

Jackie Fisher, CEO of Algeos, said:

“Exports are a significant part of our business selling into 65 countries with a network of over 45 overseas distributors and offices in Melbourne and Dubai. Having Manchester Airport down the road really does provide a gateway to the world for us.”

Paul Grover, Cities Advisory, Arup, said:

“As an international firm of consultants working across the built environment, ease of physical connection to international markets is essential to the success of our business. Manchester Airport provides our 7 offices across the north of England with direct flights to 28 of our Arup global offices, and the stepping off point for a further 49. The airport has provided the ability for us to deliver a series of award winning projects in international markets such as the National Stadium Beijing and Royal Arena Copenhagen from the UK. We continue to utilise Manchester Airport as a strategic gateway for collaborators, colleagues and clients, exporting our expertise and bringing back new skills and connections to the region.”

Greater Manchester:

Dr Tony Bannan OBE, Chief Executive Officer of PTG Holroyd, said:

“As an organisation that exports around 98% of its products, being in close proximity to Manchester Airport is essential for PTG Holroyd. The extensive routes operated by the airport – particularly to the USA, China and Europe – have proved a key factor in the development and growth of our business overseas.”

Professor Stephen Flint, Associate Vice-President – International, The University of Manchester, said:

“Our University has a diverse student population from 160 countries around the world.

“With more than 11,000 students from outside Europe, our international community plays a hugely positive role in life at the University.

“And with such a diverse community it is immensely important that we, and the entire region, have easy access to the rest of the world and Manchester Airport is a key gateway.

“At the University we like to think globally, as well as acting locally, and the Airport is an important partner in helping us drive forward our international plans.”


Ed Salt, MD of Delamere Dairy, said:

“As Northern Powerhouse Export Champions, having direct flights to several of the countries we export to is incredibly important, and these connections are made easier when Manchester Airport is on our doorstep. We currently export to 20 countries around the world and it’s great to promote this as part of the airport’s ‘more than an airport’ campaign.”

Karl Bond, Founder of Forest Distillery, said:

“English Whisky and gin are in demand all over the world right now. The Forest Distillery is only 30 minutes from Manchester Airport, which has played a massive role in helping us to grow our exports. With direct flights to most major countries, it means that we can visit customers very easily, but due to such great links, we are also seeing more guests from all over the world coming to visit us. We’re in a remote old barn with nothing around but sheep, so to see groups of tourists arrive here is amazing!”


Helen Bilton, CEO of The Group Company, said:

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership as a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion. As travel wholesale experts, Manchester Airport plays a key role in our operations, not only for our outbound stakeholders, but for the hundreds of inbound groups we serve each year, who are met with a thriving hub of culture as soon as they touch down.”

Munir Mamujee, Managing Director of m2r Education, said:

“We are delighted to be part of Manchester Airport’s ‘More than an Airport’ campaign. As an international education recruitment company, Manchester Airport serves as a gateway for a large majority of our teachers who are about to embark on a new exciting overseas career, therefore to have visibility further increases our credibility in the eyes of all our international partners and new recruits, plus a great way to showcase our home city of Wakefield.”

Helen Gibson, Managing Director of Agencia, said:

“Manchester airport is our ‘gateway to the world,’ and is vital in ensuring we can travel quickly and easily to our clients across the world. From our headquarters in East Yorkshire, Agencia, is exporting British health and judicial expertise to more than 16 countries worldwide, including Malaysia, Kenya, Tunisia, and Barbados, so we’re delighted to call Manchester airport our second home!”

Ali Liaqat, Leeds Pride Director, said:

“It’s great to see organisations like Manchester Airport sponsors pride festivals across the UK, including ours in Leeds.

“Their support goes such a long way and is vital to making prides such a success. We look forward to welcoming the team back in August for our third year working together. As sponsors they go above and beyond and really make a difference here in Yorkshire.”