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U.K. Manchester Airport Group Sees Strong Recovery in 2023

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

U.K.’s Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is in line with London’s Heathrow and Gatwick, making a remarkable recovery after the pandemic as four million passengers had flown through its airports in March. The group’s rolling 12-month passenger totals for the period ending March 2023 has reached 54 million, 88% of 2019 levels.

MAG owns Manchester Airport, London’s Stansted Airport and the U.K.’s East Midlands Airport. Touting its own operational performance, the group said that 99% of passengers at Stansted and Manchester Airport passed through security in 15 minutes during the Easter Holidays.

Manchester Airport, the gateway to Northern England has hired more than 2,000 new employees since last April. The airport was spotted the long queues since the travel restrictions were lift in March 2022. As a result of the previous travel chaos, Manchester has prepared itself for emergencies as a new resilience team had been set up. One hundred members are trained in a variety of roles across the airport, handling from check in to baggage handling.

Manchester Airport has recorded 1.9 million passengers in March, 30% higher than March last year and 92.5% pre-pandemic levels.

“We are pleased to have delivered a really positive start to the summer season, including during the busy Easter weekend.” Chris Woodroofe, The Managing Director of the airport said.

In addition, Stansted welcomed nearly two million passengers in March. It recorded 94% of the passengers volume of 2019, increasing 32% to same time last year. Stansted has boosted its summer schedule by adding the new flight operation to Bergen, Norway, Athens and Rome.

“Our preparations to meet rising passenger demand across May due to the multiple bank holidays, including the King Charles III coronation weekend, and the peak summer season continue to go well.” Gareth Powell, the Managing Director of Stansted said.

However, East Midlands Airport missed the mark and had served 183,000 passengers in March, only 72% of pre-pandemic levels. The airport has experienced “some good recovery” but “slower than we expected”. The airport is looking forward a 90-95% in some of its peak seasons and about four million customers over the next 12 month.

“We look forward to welcoming back passengers this year, many of whom still won’t travelled overseas since before the pandemic.” Mike Grimes, Customer Service & Security Director of East Midlands Airport said.

New Rules on Liquids in the U.K.

In the meantime, Britons could save their time at security checkpoints. London City Airport has recently introduced the new CT full security scanner as the passengers don’t need to remove their laptops and can carry liquid containers up to two liters in size their carry-on bags in line with the national aviation authority’s new security rules.

The CT technology has been used in New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The airports around the U.K. must install the new system by June 2024.


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