in Aerospace

MAG serves 60m passengers a year for first time

Posted 12 October 2018 · Add Comment

The operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, MAG (Manchester Airports Group), has served 60 million passengers a year for the first time in its history.

MAG, the operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, has served 60 million passengers a year for the first time in its history.

The milestone was passed in September as the group grew 3.3% year on year to serve 60.2m passengers across its three airports in the past 12 months, with growth at London Stansted driving the group to its new record high.

The growth demonstrates the important role that MAG’s network of airports will play in the coming years, with Manchester and London Stansted being the two largest airports in the UK with significant runway capacity.

London Stansted airport served 2.7m passengers in September, representing 9.2% year on year growth. Internationally, that growth was driven by new routes to Dubai with Emirates and to Reykjavik with WOW Air, and very strong late summer bookings to sun destinations, with Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote and Paphos being especially popular compared with last year.

Further growth is expected next month as a new service to St Petersburg with Pobeda Airlines commences. The airport’s team has also set its sight on securing additional long haul links, with top targets including Hong Kong, Mumbai and Los Angeles.

Manchester Airport ’s passenger numbers were down slightly (-1.1%) year on year, because in the same month last year Monarch Airlines was flying its last month of full schedule from the airport. The airport expects growth to return next month, which will see the launch of the airport’s first link to India (Jet Airways to Mumbai). The top five growth destinations at Manchester in September were Belfast, Antalya, Cancun, Nuremberg and Dalaman.

Last month, a new report tracked the economic, social and cultural benefits that have been felt across the North of England in the two years since direct flights from Manchester to Beijing began. The North has seen a 38% increase in the number of Chinese visitors since 2016, and the average spend per visit increased by 94% to £2,167.

East Midlands Airport ’s number was broadly flat year on year (-0.4%), with a new route to Seville proving popular and the Eastern Mediterranean being the biggest growth region for late summer sun, with the fastest growing destinations in the area being Dalaman, Antalya, Zakynthos, Corfu and Rhodes. On the cargo side, the airport is now handling £10bn worth of goods traded to and from non-EU destinations alone in a year, demonstrating the critical role it will play post Brexit as the UK’s largest airport for dedicated cargo planes.

Further afield, MAG this month announced its ambitions to own and operate Sofia Airport, the largest airport in Bulgaria. MAG will participate in a competitive tender process, supported by Chinese construction giant BCEG, who are already working with MAG on the Airport City UK construction project in Manchester.

Tim Hawkins, Chief Strategy Officer, MAG, said: “MAG’s continued growth demonstrates the key role that our airports will play in the next 10-15 years in meeting demand for air travel to and from the UK. In order to forge links with new markets once the UK has left the European Union, new long haul links will be of paramount importance right across the country. The Government’s forthcoming aviation strategy needs to focus on the role that airports right across the UK can play in promoting trade links to new territories and new economies.

“We’ve seen the transformative effect that new routes to China from Manchester have had for the Northern economy over the last three years, and the new Stansted to Dubai service is already proving extremely popular with businesses in the East of England. MAG’s teams are out meeting airlines from across the world every week and we are calling for an aviation strategy from Government that supports the potential of the UK airports most capable of driving economic growth in their regions and for the UK as a whole.”







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