Passenger numbers triple at Manchester Airport as more ‘clarity’ called from Boris Johnson’s Government

Manchester Airport has served almost six million fewer passengers over the last year despite its figures tripling in October.

The airport saw 4.6 million people pass through its terminals in the 12-month period compared to the 10.4 million in the same time to the end of October 2020.

However, the newly-released figures also show 1.2 million passengers flew from the airport in October, a rise of 201%, but still down 51.8% compared to the total in October 2019.

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For the group as a whole, which also includes London Stansted and East Midlands airports, passenger numbers total 10.7 million for the 12 months to October this year, down 53% year on year.

The group’s October 2021 total stands at 2.7 million, a 218% rise from October 2020 but still a 49% fall from October 2019.

Manchester Airports Group’s figures were impacted by only being able to welcome 260,000 passengers in May this year.

In a statement, the group said the increase seen in October was boosted by the half term period and “pent-up demand” for international travel after more than a year of Covid-related disruption.

The group added that this “positive trend” is expected to continue in the lead up to the festive season.

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At the same time as releasing the new figures, Manchester Airports Group has called on the Government to set out a “clear commitment” and roadmap for removing all remaining restrictions on international travel in 2022.

It added that “clarity on the Government’s ambition” to return to restriction-free travel as soon as possible “would allow consumers and the aviation sector to look ahead to the summer season with confidence, following almost two years of shut down and uncertainty”.

Charlie Cornish, MAG CEO, said: “These figures demonstrate clearly how the demand for international travel is ready and waiting for when restrictions are eased.

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“It is hugely positive to have seen our traffic levels recover month on month, and the removal of costly barriers and uncertainty is giving consumers renewed confidence to get back to travel.

“We need to see this positive trend continue following the reopening of transatlantic services to the US in early November and as we continue to rebuild Manchester Airport’s network of direct long-haul connections.

“To ensure we continue on this path to a full recovery, we are calling on the Government to set out a clear ambition and plan for removing remaining restrictions on travelling abroad at the earliest opportunity.”

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