Manchester Airports Group posts strong growth

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, said on Tuesday it saw continuing growth in November as new long haul routes saw its airports serve 7.7% more passengers than in the same month last year.

In November, all three of MAG’s airports grew significantly year on year, with London Stansted growing 8.7% to 1.98 million passengers, Manchester up 7.1% to 1.85 million passengers and East Midlands Airport growing 4.7% to 232,000 passengers.

Last week, MAG said its revenue increased 8.3% to £508.5 million and EBITDA rose 3.7% to £244.5 million in the six months to September 30.

MAG is privately managed on behalf of its shareholders — Australian investment fund IFM Investors (35.5%), Manchester City Council (35.5%) and nine other Greater Manchester councils (29%).

“The growth means that Manchester Airport has now seen two successive months of strong growth in passenger numbers, as the successful ‘backfill’ of slots previously operated by Monarch leads to further growth across the winter season,” said MAG.

“This growth was further bolstered by the successful introduction of a new long haul link from Manchester to Mumbai with Jet Airways.

“Overall, long haul traffic to the Caribbean, Middle East and Asia was up 8.8% year on year as Manchester continues to play a major role in connecting the North to global economic hubs.”

Tim Hawkins, chief strategy officer, MAG, said: “Our airports are proving more and more popular.

“Following a solid summer, they are once again growing strongly through winter, particularly with new long haul routes being launched in recent months.

“As the Government gears up to publish its proposals for a new aviation strategy, it is vital that its focus broadens to considering the role that major airports across the country can play in connecting this country to key global markets.

“Our airports are significant infrastructure assets which, over the coming years, will create jobs in their local communities and help stimulate the national economy. We now need to see Government commit to improving rail access to these airports to help them drive economic growth.”