Manchester Airports at 85% of pre-Covid numbers

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said its passenger numbers continued to recover in July, with its three airports handling 85% of pre-Covid passenger numbers, up from 82% in May and 84% in June.

MAG – which owns Manchester, London Stansted, and East Midlands Airports – saw 5.5 million passengers travel through its terminals across the month, an increase on the 5.2 million in June.

London Stansted passenger numbers reached 90% of 2019 levels, totalling 2.5 million. Manchester Airport’s recovery also continued as 2.6 million passengers passed through the Northern hub, representing 82% of pre-pandemic traffic.

East Midlands Airport saw more than 400,000 passengers travel through its terminal in July as the summer holidays began.

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%).

“Operational performance also continues to improve, with 93% of passengers at Manchester Airport clearing security in 30 minutes or less in July,” said MAG.

“More than two-thirds – 69% – passed through in 15 minutes or less.

“This positive trend was maintained into the first week in August, with 99% of passengers clearing security in less than 30 minutes and 84% in less than 15 minutes.

“At London Stansted, all passengers passed through security in under 30 minutes in July, and 99% within 15 minutes, in July.

“Throughout the recovery, MAG has worked closely with airlines to enable them to operate their full flight schedules.

“MAG’s goal has been to ensure that passengers can take their long-planned trips and this has meant that, since March, the group’s three airports have served more than 17 million passengers and had among the lowest cancellation rates of any large UK airports.

“MAG anticipates that recent service level improvements will continue through the rest of the year, with customer experience being restored to pre-covid levels in 2023.

“These service improvements will be supported by continuing recruitment across the group’s three airports.

“In July, more than 300 colleagues started new roles across the group, bringing the total since January to more than 2,000.”

MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “July was MAG’s busiest month since the pandemic began, with millions jetting-off for their long-awaited summer holidays, some for the first time in two years.

“This summer, more than 11m people will travel through our airports and, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our teams, we will ensure they get away on their travels smoothly.

“We continue to see a strong recovery and, having welcomed more than 2,000 new colleagues into our business, are laying the foundations for passenger volumes and customer service to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023.”