Freshers flying in to start their studies at universities across the North helped Manchester Airport record its business ever September.
2,671,199 passengers passed through the terminals taking the rolling annual total for the UK’s third busiest airport to 24,846,962.
The total was also boosted by passengers jetting off to soak up the last of the summer sun in the Mediterranean.
With the summer holidays over, lots of people took advantage of cheaper prices to make the most of the Mediterranean. Majorca, the Costas and Tenerife all featured in the airport’s Top 5 most popular destinations in September.
Further afield passengers were also jetting off in large numbers to Dubai, Orlando and New York.
There are more than 25 universities within a two hour drive of the airport, which serves as the main gateway for international students jetting in and out of the UK during their academic courses.
Ahead of the start of term, representatives from the likes of York, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Bangor, Stafford, Liverpool and Keele universities were spotted in the airport’s terminals.
Students arrived from all around the globe including the USA, China and Africa.
Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport CEO, said: “It’s been another excellent month for the airport as we continue to break passenger records on a monthly basis. It was also particularly pleasing to see the large numbers of international students arriving into the airport ahead of starting their studies. The wide range of institutions from as far as Wales, Scotland, the North East and Yorkshire meeting the students only served to highlight the importance of our connectivity and wide reach of our catchment area.”
September saw Flybe launch its new service to Luxembourg, whilst Austrian Airlines celebrated its one year anniversary of flying between Manchester and Vienna. The airport was delighted to welcome back a large number of Team GB’s northern based Paralympians who were returning from the games in Rio.
The airport again saw an 11% increase in aircraft movements during September, with more than 18,600 planes coming and going from the two full length runways. The amount of freight also increased by 12% with 9,791 tonnes handled in September.
Growth at other MAG airports continued into September, as the Group continued to benefit from spare capacity on its runways to grow ahead of the market. It saw the annual rolling total of its passengers rise to more than 54m, a 7.9% increase year on year.