Long haul connectivity from Manchester Airport Group – MAG airports – has contributed to the busiest June on record across East Midlands, Manchester and Standsted airports.
MAG, the UK’s largest airport group, posted a 6.4% increase in passenger numbers in June as London Stansted saw new long haul routes added to departure boards and Manchester had its busiest June in its 80 year history.
London Stansted Airport grew 11.3% year-on-year to serve 2.6m passengers in June, driven by a new daily Emirates service to Dubai on a three-class Boeing 777-ER aircraft, which saw its inaugural flight on 8th June. This is the first time that Stansted has had a direct link to a Middle Eastern hub and the service will open up over 100 new route options for passengers wishing to travel to the Middle East, Asia and Australasia.
This, combined other new long haul links for this year, including New York, Boston and Toronto, means that Stansted is serving a more diverse network of destinations than ever before, as the airport’s new long haul services are joined this summer by even more flights to European destinations. The European routes contributing most to the year-on-year growth at Stansted included Nice, Naples, Alicante and Reykjavik.
MAG is calling for Government to do more to improve road and rail access to airports with spare runway capacity as part of aviation strategy
MAG Chief Executive, Charlie Cornish commented:
“June’s figures demonstrate the strength of demand from both passengers and airlines to fly from our airports, and increasingly to more long haul, global destinations. We have the potential to deliver many more long haul services in the years to come.“The Government’s support for airports looking to make the best use of existing capacity provides a clear framework for growth, and it is critical that it now matches its backing for Heathrow expansion with specific and practical proposals to improve rail access and maximise the potential of airports like Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands.
“Manchester and London Stansted are the two largest UK airports with significant runway capacity and our investment will allow us to meet continued demand for aviation growth both in and out of the UK.”
In the month of its 80th birthday, Manchester Airport’s traffic has now returned to growth, bouncing back after Monarch Airlines ceased operations in October 2017. The airport grew 3.4% to serve 2.8m passengers in June, as Monarch’s runway slots were filled by other airlines including Jet2.com, Thomas Cook Airlines, TUI and easyJet. Meanwhile, long haul routes to the Middle East (Muscat, Dubai) and to America proved popular while summer holiday destinations to watch for this season, based on passenger numbers compared with last June, are Antalya, Dalaman, Cancun and Ibiza.
East Midlands Airport grew slightly year on year (+0.1%) as the airport welcomed 560,000 passengers across the month. The top three most popular destinations from East Midlands in June were Palma, Alicante and Malaga, while the destination that was most popular compared with last year was Dalaman in Turkey.
In a month when a parliamentary vote gave the go ahead for a new runway at Heathrow Airport, the Government also confirmed its support for other UK airports looking to make best use of existing runway capacity. MAG is now calling on Government to present specific and practical proposals to maximise the potential of other airports – not least because new capacity at Heathrow is more than a decade away.