New Year, New Routes at Manchester Airport
This is set to be an exciting year for Manchester Airport. Not only will our Terminal Two extension open this summer, as part of our £1bn transformation, we will also welcome a host of new and important routes to benefit the whole region, as we continue to play our role of the UK’s global gateway for the North.
Manchester Airport launched the UK’s first major new route of 2020 on January 5th, with services to Dhaka and Sylhet in Bangladesh, its first direct flights to the country in almost eight years.
That will be followed up with the launch of new services to Riga and Shanghai in March, operated by airBaltic and Juneyao Air respectively.
May will also see the return of Delta Airlines to Manchester, as the US carrier takes over the route to Boston from Virgin Atlantic, turning it into a daily service.
Dhaka and Sylhet
The Dhaka service, operated in Biman Bangladesh Airlines, will arrive via Sylhet in the east of the country.
The service is expected to be popular with those visiting friends and family, in addition to business travellers. There are around 70,000 people of Bangladeshi origin in the North of England, with the majority able to trace their roots to the Sylhet region.
Airline representatives and Bangladeshi High Commission officials at the route’s inauguration also expressed optimism that the mainstream tourism market will continue to develop. Bangladesh boasts the world’s longest natural sand beach at Cox’s Bazar, at over 80 miles in length, whilst the country is also one of the last places on Earth where wildlife enthusiasts can spot a Bengal Tiger in its natural habitat.
Biman’s Regional Manager, Debabrota Mallick, said: “A direct flight from Manchester to Sylhet, and Manchester to Dhaka has been on our radar for quite some time. Not only was this due to high demand from the Bangladeshi community in the North, but we also saw a good opportunity to increase tourism and business potential which has been increasing year-on-year.
“After announcing the resumption of the Manchester flight, we saw the first two weeks of flights completely sold out.”
Latvian flag carrier airBaltic’s service to Riga provides an additional option to Ryanair’s established service on the route. It will offer convenient connections to passengers travelling from Manchester to over 70 destinations served from the Latvian capital, across Scandinavia, Russia and Eastern Europe.
The Shanghai route, which was greeted with much fanfare on its announcement in November last year, is a first for Juneyao Air in the UK and provides the North’s first direct link to China’s largest city. Visitors to Shanghai can take in the views at the top of the iconic Orient Pearl TV Tower, sample street food in the Old City and stroll through the sprawling and colourful Yu Gardens.
Wang Junjin, Juneyao Air Chairman, said at the time of the announcement: “We look forward to developing Manchester’s traffic growth in the coming years. This route will further promote Great Manchester’s tourism, as well giving Britain an opportunity to boost its trade and investment links to China.”
In the Spring, Delta returns to Manchester with a direct service to Boston, taking over the route from its partner Virgin Atlantic.
Boston offers a range of cultural highlights, from the ‘Freedom Trail’ of key historical sites to the Back Bay district, with its long boulevards lined with trendy shops, bars and restaurants. Massachusetts also celebrates its 400th birthday this year and the anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival is to be marked with lavish ceremonies celebrating US-UK ties.
A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “This will be a busy and exciting year for us, with the state-of-the-art Terminal Two extension set to open in the Summer and a variety of new routes with new airlines on board.
“Our £1bn transformation programme is central to our strategy for continuing to open Manchester up to the world. It will unlock the capacity out on our airfield allowing us to offer passengers the latest innovations in travel, as they jet off to our 210 destinations.
“We’re pleased to be working with all our new airline partners, and are confident our route network will go from strength to strength in 2020.”
For more information on the destinations served by Manchester Airport, and for the latest news, visit https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/.