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Manchester Airport: Passenger numbers on the rise
Manchester Airport has been recognised for its approach to passengers regularly throughout the past three years being ranked by the Airports Council International (ACI) as the ‘Airport of the Year’ in 2009 and winning the ‘Best Airport in the UK’ at the British Travel Awards last year. The significant investment made in the infrastructure also saw the retail areas receive recognition from the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC); the first time an airport had ever won such an award.
Andrew Harrison, Managing Director of the airport, explained: “Five years ago, we were well known for our effi cient operations and excellent infrastructure but now, we’re also being talked about as a more customer-focussed airport and the changes we’ve made to our terminals have been a big part of that.”
The airport handled 17.7 million passengers in 2010, making it the UK’s fourth-busiest airport in passenger numbers as well as the third busiest in flights and has high hopes for the year ahead. Manchester Airport was the busiest UK airport outside the London area last year and the 24th busiest in Europe while its World Freight Terminal processed over 115,000 tons of cargo in 2010.
Manchester Airport is operated by the Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which also runs airports in Bournemouth, East Midlands and Humberside. It also runs a property development company called MAG Developments, who are currently leading the development of Airport City, which will sit in one of the UK Government’s new Enterprise Zones.
The airport is well served by two runways and three terminals, and is one of only 17 airports around the world capable of handling the Airbus A380, which it has welcomed from Emirates every day since September 2010. Coupled with over £100 million of investment in its railway station, the future is bright accentuated by construction beginning on a new ‘Metrolink’ tram extension to the centre of Manchester, which will further strengthen the transport options available.
Mr. Harrison reported strong performance for July 2011 with the airport’s passenger numbers reaching 2.1 million, a 5.17% increase over July 2010; with a 12.5% rise in scheduled international services and a 3% rise in aircraft movements over the same period.
He said: “The passenger numbers are moving in the right direction but the trading environment remains diffi cult. We continue to see positive growth on our international scheduled routes and big announcements this year have come from the likes of Etihad, Emirates, Qatar and Virgin about their continuing investment here; while Ryanair is shortly opening a new base. We want to grow alongside our carriers and we’re well served by the likes of easyJet, Jet2.com, American Airlines, Monarch and Flybe to name a few and they refl ect the strength and range available from Manchester.”
Mr. Harrison defines what makes Manchester Airport competitive: “Having witnessed some interesting recent events with volcanoes and snow, I know how good the team is in a crisis, and I’m proud that our people are always willing to go the extra mile. That’s the essence of Manchester.”