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A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 taxis past Terminal Two at Manchester Airport (Photo: Manchester Airport)

Manchester Airport Prepares for Summer Season Ramp Up

Manchester Airport has set out its plans to prepare for a ramp-up in passenger travel over the summer season despite the coronavirus outbreak.

The news comes as the U.K. government announced over 50 countries which it deems safe for non-essential travel, allowing for travellers to visit without having to self-isolate on return. The majority of the countries on the list are European, with some others including the U.S. ‘red-listed’ for travel until they can reduce their coronavirus infections.

After consolidating operations out of one terminal for the bulk of the outbreak so far, the airport has begun re-opening the rest of its terminals.

When fewer flights were operating, the airport only used Terminal One for all flights. However, as of July 1, Terminal Three has re-opened with six airlines operating from the terminal, with the Terminal Two re-opening planned for July 15.

Many of the airlines that use Terminal Two will resume their flying schedules before it re-opens or are already flying to Manchester temporarily from Terminal One.

Return of the Airlines

Throughout the pandemic, eight airlines maintained their operations at Manchester. These included Air France, Qatar Airways and Loganair. However, in the last few weeks, twelve more airlines have returned to the U.K.’s northern hub, such as Emirates, British Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.

In addition, Iran Air operated the first of its new weekly service from Manchester to Tehran on Saturday. The inaugural flight was operated by an Airbus A330 and went ahead as planned despite the coronavirus pandemic, unlike Westjet which is no longer selling tickets for their unstarted Manchester to Halifax service.

Over the course of the next week, twelve more destinations will be served from Manchester by Ryanair and TUI, who will be operating their first flights at the airport since the pandemic on Saturday, July 11. These include Copenhagen, Marseille and Naples with Ryanair and Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca with TUI. 

Further airlines are expected to return in the coming weeks, including Air Transat which is due to return on July 26. Air Transat is slated to be the only North American airline serving Manchester for some time to come, with Routesonline showing United having cut its service to NewarkAmerican delaying its Philadelphia service’s return until at least summer 2021 and Air Canada Rouge also axing its seasonal Toronto service.

Retail Re-Opens

Several retail outlets at Manchester Airport have started to re-open as more passengers fly through its terminals.

At the moment, nine outlets have re-opened in Terminal One and a further four in Terminal Three. These range from duty-free stores to cafes. Between now and July 15, seven more outlets will return, including three in Terminal Two.

The Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, Brad Miller, said in an airport press release: “As we continue to see the return of more airlines and destinations for our passengers to fly to, we remain fully committed to ensuring their safety throughout their airport journey”

“With the introduction of travel corridors, we envisage passenger numbers to continue to increase, which is why we are opening Terminal Two from 15th July, to maximise the airport space,” added Miller

On the relaxed travel restrictions, Miller said” “These travel corridors will open up the chance for people to enjoy a well-earned break abroad and directly benefit the hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs depend on air travel for their livelihoods,”

All travellers from the U.K. are currently told to visit the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) Travel Advice website before entering the country.

Connor Sadler
Connor Sadler
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