Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has announced continued growth throughout August, with the number of passengers using Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Birmingham airports in the busiest month of the year soaring past the amount of people living in Rio de Janeiro.
The airports saw 6.6 million passengers travelling through them in August – more than the populations of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield combined. Growth is being attributed to airlines offering more seats to more destinations for holiday makers than ever before, including additional capacity to the Middle East, North America and the Caribbean. Increasing popularity of short-haul destinations such as Croatia and Bulgaria are also likely causes of the increase.
Manchester Airport reports growth of eight per cent year-on-year, with 3.2 million passengers using the hub. The airport achieved this figure amid the start of its 10-year, £1 billion transformation project, which will reconfigure the terminals and boost passenger experience and started with the opening of a new airside lounge facility in Terminal 2.
Meanwhile, London Stansted has had its busiest-ever summer, welcoming 2.7 million passengers – up 10 per cent year-on-year. Numbers were boosted by new flights from holiday provider Jet2.com, along with more passengers using Ryanair and increased long-haul flights to Mexico and the US. The airport also has plans to apply to lift its current ‘passenger cap’ from 35 million to 44 million, allowing airlines to plan future growth.
Finally, East Midlands Airport passenger traffic grew by 2.5 per cent to 611,000 in July, while Bournemouth Airport grew 2.7 per cent to 86,000, with both airports reporting strong performance on Spanish routes.
Tim Hawkins, corporate affairs director at MAG, said: “As Heathrow and Gatwick fill up, Manchester and Stansted still have substantial capacity for growth. MAG is investing in new facilities and infrastructure so its airports can play an even bigger role over the next 10 to 15 years before a new runway in the South East is completed.
“The figures for August demonstrate that demand for flying to a wider range of global destinations has never been greater and MAG airports will play a critical role in this. It’s now critical that government focuses on developing an aviation strategy that helps airports like ours create a prosperous and outward facing Britain.”