The first passengers travelled through Manchester’s Airport’s new Terminal Two extension this morning, marking a major milestone in the Northern gateway’s 83-year history.
A Jet2.com flight to Menorca was the first to take-off from the expanded Terminal Two, which is the centrepiece of the hub’s £1 billion Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).
Work started on the transformation in 2017 and – despite a delay of more than one year to the opening as a result of the pandemic – the facility was officially opened by Manchester Airport’s Managing Director Karen Smart and Jet2.com’s General Manager at Manchester Airport, Marc Burns, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.
Passengers then had their first opportunity to sample the new terminal’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a worker bee inspired honeycomb lighting feature and a giant media wall.
A range of new shops, cafes, bars and restaurants also opened their doors today, with more to open throughout the week as passenger numbers increase.
In true Manchester Airport style passengers were treated to a range of entertainment from local bands and a DJ. Plus, a prize draw giveaway for Jet2.com flights and 1903 Lounge passes.
The first passengers through the doors going to Menorca were the Thompson family from Preston, Lancashire (pictured above). It consisted of mum Emma Thompson, dad Gary Thompson and children Brad, Ben and Lenny.
Gary Thompson commented on being the first passengers through:
It was a big surprise to be the first passengers in Manchester Airport’s new Terminal Two. It looks very posh, lovely and modern. We only travel once a year and have been through all the other terminals, but this new one is definitely better than anything we’ve seen before.”
Two further Jet2.com flights will depart from the terminal today, and from tomorrow, TUI passengers will join them. It is hoped that further airlines will transition to operating from the new terminal in the coming weeks as demand for travel increases, with a government announcement due tomorrow on its traffic light lists for travel.
Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said:
“This is a hugely significant milestone for our airport, our city, the North as a whole and the wider recovery of the travel industry.
“After a hugely challenging 16 months, we are delighted to be delivering some positive news and welcoming the first passengers into our new terminal extension.
“When we first announced our £1bn transformation programme in 2015, we set out a vision to create state-of-the-art facilities that provided a first-class customer experience and cemented our role as the UK’s global gateway in the North.
“It is clear to see that vision has been realised and I would like to thank all our colleagues and partners who have worked on the project since the start.
“The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped. However, as Government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened-up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from Terminal Two.”
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said:
“The new terminal extension at Manchester Airport is fantastic news for our customers, and we are delighted to be the first airline to take off from the expanded terminal this morning. From today all of our flights will depart and arrive from the expanded Terminal Two, with the exception of arrivals from Jersey. This means all Jet2.com and Jet2holidays customers get to enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities before jetting away on their much-needed flights and holidays. With travel restrictions easing, we have a wide choice of quarantine free destinations on sale from Manchester Airport this summer, and the demand for our flights and holidays means lots of customers will be enjoying the new terminal extension this summer and beyond.”
The expanded terminal’s light, bright and airy check-in hall sets the tone for the passenger experience, with a modern security area equipped with the latest technology, and a departure lounge packed with iconic features including a honeycomb light installation and a new 81 square metre digital screen.
A wide range of new shops, bars, cafes and restaurants will feature in the new terminal, with local brands Archie’s, The Bridgewater Exchange by Joseph Holt and Pot, Kettle, Black open initially, in addition to two new, exclusive passenger lounges.
Construction firm Laing O’Rourke has spearheaded the programme of works, supported by partners including architects Pascall + Watson, design consultancy Arcadis and airfield works contractor Galliford Try.
Together with several dozen partners, in fields as varied as IT and Catering, they have successfully delivered the megaproject to specification.
More than 8,000 tonnes of steel have been used to create the new terminal extension, which is 81,000 square metres. It is large enough to accommodate Manchester United’s Old Trafford pitch 11 times over, with room to spare.
Benefits to the wider region have included the creation of more than 1,500 jobs in the construction phase alone, including more than 150 apprenticeships giving young people an opportunity to take their first steps on the career ladder.