Manchester Airport passes 90% of pre-pandemic traffic in January, as first full year of restriction-free travel begins


·       Manchester Airport served over 1.6m passengers in January, with operator MAG serving 3.6 million across its three airports

·       Performance compares with January 2022, when the Northern hub served fewer than 750,000, owing to Omicron testing requirements

·       Operational performance continues to be strong with over 92% of passengers passing through security in under 10 minutes

·       It comes after Manchester Airport announced the final £440m phase of its £1.3bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme

Manchester Airport has made a strong start to 2023, with passenger volumes at more than 90% of those seen pre-pandemic, according to new figures.

MAG, which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports, served 3.6 million passengers in January, with over 1.6m of those passing through the Northern hub.

The figure is more than double the 750,000 or so who travelled through Manchester in January 2022, when the Group served just 37% of pre-pandemic traffic, owing to Omicron testing requirements that remained in place for passengers travelling to and from the UK.

Across MAG, January’s passenger figures were 91% of those seen in the same month in 2019.

Elsewhere, operational performance has continued to be much-improved on last summer, with 92.4% of passengers waiting for 10 minutes or less to pass through security checks last month.

The traffic stats round off a positive month at Manchester Airport, which also announced the final phase of its £1.3bn transformation programme in January. The £440m investment will update the existing Terminal Two infrastructure, to bring it in line with the state-of-the-art extension, which opened to passengers in July 2021.

The investment is set to unlock billions in economic activity and create more than 500 jobs in the construction phase alone. A further 16,400 extra jobs will also be generated by 2040 as a result of the economic activity stimulated by the expansion of the airport and its route network. York Aviation research also shows that the Airport’s current contribution to the Northern economy of £3.5bn could increase by nearly 80%, to £6.3bn by 2040.

The announcement was welcomed by a broad range of supporters, including the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, and the Aviation Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton.

As part of its initiatives to make its airports as accessible as possible for all passengers, MAG was also proud to announce the creation of its partnership with SignLive, which provides Deaf customers with interpretation in British Sign Language (BSL) when using and contacting it’s airports.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said: “We are delighted to have made such a strong start to 2023, with January’s statistics showing passenger numbers continuing to recover well and operational performance steadily improving.

“The announcement of the second phase of our transformation programme is a major milestone for our airport, and a statement of our intent to deliver on our full potential as the UK’s global gateway in the North.

“We are now fully focused on continuing to improve the passenger experience ahead of what promises to be another busy summer.”