Manchester Airport gains 2.7m passengers in 12 months
Manchester Airport has continued its spell of double-digit growth, with 1.9 million passengers flying through the airport's three terminals in March, 10.1% more than in March last year.
The airport has added 2.7 million passengers over the year, representing growth of 11.4%, in a sign that airlines and passengers alike are increasingly looking to fly from the UK’s third airport as Heathrow and Gatwick fill up.
The airport’s recent growth has been enough to place it as the second fastest growing large airport in Europe in the most recent analysis from Airport Councils Europe. Among airports serving more than 25 million passengers per year, only Moscow Sheremetyevo is growing faster.
In the past year, Manchester has flown more than 1.1 million additional passengers to Spain alone and four of the five destinations with the most passenger growth are Spanish:
Top five growth destinations by passengers numbers from Manchester in last 12 months
1) Alicante +201k passengers (+31%)
2) Malaga +149k passengers (+26%)
3) Barcelona +145k passengers (+48%)
4) Amsterdam +132k passengers (+15%)
5) Tenerife +128k passengers (+17%)
After Spain, the next biggest short haul growth has been to France (+261k), Germany (+228k) and Italy (+198k), while the most significant long haul growth has been to the USA (+125k), Pakistan (+112k) and China (+77k).
The growth across the board at Manchester and to Spain in particular, can be attributed to more seats on more planes being made available to passengers wanting to fly to popular destinations year-round, with passengers choosing Spain for summer and winter sun as a great alternative to destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, which have become less popular this year.
Long haul growth has been driven by new routes, including the new direct service to Beijing with Hainan Airlines, and a new route to Houston with Singapore Airlines. Meanwhile, increased capacity to Islamabad has contributed to a surge in traffic to Pakistan.
Manchester’s 14.9% growth was driven by increased long haul capacity allowing more cargo to leave in passenger planes’ ‘bellyholds’ to destinations like Beijing, Singapore, Houston and San Francisco.
Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport CEO, said: “March rounded off a strong year of growth at Manchester, meaning we are now one of the fastest growing airports not just in the UK but in Europe as a whole.
“It was particularly pleasing to end the month with the launch of our San Francisco service, which is a route we have long coveted and one that business and leisure passengers have been calling for some time.
“It was the latest in a long list of key long haul routes we have added over the past 12 months, ensuring we are connecting the North with key markets across the world.
“That is on top of extremely strong growth in flights to short haul locations, meaning Manchester has one of the most varied route networks in the world.
“As the summer season starts and the Easter holidays are upon us, we are looking forward to continuing growth and further additions to our list of destinations.”