Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has received a £250 million support package from the 10 Greater Manchester councils to see the city’s airport through the coronavirus crisis.
Manchester City Council owns a 35.5% stake in MAG, which also operates Stansted and East Midlands airports, and will provide £143 million, with the nine other local authorities owning 29% collectively and providing £13 million each.
Dividends from the shares in MAG provided £70 million for Manchester City Council last year and the airport is considered to be of vital economic importance for the city-region’s recovery due to its global connectivity. The funding was supported by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham in a press conference on May 5th.
No specific support has been provided by central government for Manchester Airport or the wider aviation sector. According to the BBC, around 70% of MAG’s 7000 staff have been placed on furlough leave, but no staff have been made redundant.
Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said:
Manchester Airport is critically important to the future success of the city.
“It is both an international gateway for trade and travel and somewhere which creates and supports tens of thousands of jobs.
“Backing the airport will enable it to weather the current storm and come out stronger in the years ahead.”
In March, MAG announced that senior staff would take a pay-cut as a result in the steep drop in passenger numbers at Manchester and other airports in order to help see the group through the crisis. The airport is now operating only from Terminal One.