Manchester Airport ends 2013 with strong passenger performance

Posted: 14 January 2014 | Manchester Airports Group | No comments yet

1.3 million passengers travelled through Manchester Airport in December 2013, which was 5.4% higher than the previous year…

1.3 million passengers travelled through Manchester Airport in December 2013, which was 5.4% higher than the previous year.

The escalation in passenger figures marks the airport’s 19 consecutive month of year on year growth, with performance attributed to the busy Christmas period where the airport saw over 720,000 festive travellers arrive and depart, a rise of 1.2%, as well as having over 153,000 extra seats available to popular destinations compared with the previous Winter season.

December brought a range of increased services including the inaugural flight of Thomas Cook’s new long haul route to Antigua, alongside the delivery of a brand new Airbus A321 in their new livery, which will be used on the new Barbados-St Lucia- Antigua service.

The airport’s cargo offering also received a boost with Cathay Pacific upgrading its cargo aircraft to a Boeing 747-8F, one of the world’s largest commercial air freighters, which will operate on a regular basis out of Manchester to Hong Kong and is capable of carrying over 130 tonnes of cargo. Lufthansa Cargo also gained a brand new Boeing 777F, the airline ordered a total of five of the new freighters and Manchester was chosen as their first UK base. As well as a new aircraft they also added an extra frequency, taking their operation to four per week.

Ken O’Toole, Chief Commercial Officer for MAG, owners of Manchester Airport, said: “December is traditionally a busy month for us, particularly the last two weeks with people travelling to be with friends and family during the festive season. 2013 was an encouraging year with many big milestones being reached including our successful acquisition of London Stansted Airport, Manchester’s 75th anniversary, having our busiest summer in five years and passing the 20 million passenger mark. Looking ahead at 2014 I’m confident that the good performance will continue with numerous airlines already announcing extra frequencies and expansion plans which will come online in the near future.”

At Manchester, Summer 2014 will bring new long haul route launches from US Airways with a departure to their hub in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA giving passengers wider access across their large American network. While Air Canada Rouge, a new carrier for Manchester, will begin operating five flights per week to Toronto, which will plug passengers into their global network and onward connections to destinations across Canada including Montreal and Ottawa. In March the airport will also see the return of Saudia Airlines with a direct route to Jeddah, further increasing Manchester’s coverage to the Middle East and beyond.

A number of other airlines have also added extra services to their schedules for Summer 2014 including, Ryanair announced three flights per week to Bologna in Northern Italy while easyJet added a new service to Catania in Sicily.

Additionally Monarch, who recently signed a three year growth plan, expanded its Summer route network with the announcement of a further four routes to Naples in Italy, Agadir in Morocco, Hurghada in Egypt and Enfidha in Tunisia making Manchester Airport Monarch’s largest UK base. will also be offering flights to Bergerac in France, Jersey in the Channel Islands and Vienna in Austria, the latter being a new destination for Summer 2014.

In 2014 the airport will continue its successful ‘Fly Manchester’ campaign focussing on both the long haul and short haul offering, reminding passengers of the array of services available from the North’s largest airport. The campaign will start from February in the wider catchment area starting in the Midlands and Staffordshire.

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