Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has reported an operating profit of £22.8 million for the six months to September 30, 2022, compared with losses of £75.7 million during the same period last year.
Revenues increased by £158.7 million to £538.8 million.
MAG, which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports, served 30.5 million passengers during what was the first full summer season since the removal of travel Covid-19 travel restrictions.
That represented 84% of pre-Covid traffic and compared with 6.6 million passengers handled during the same period in 2021.
“MAG’s positive performance across all of its airports was driven by the reintroduction of the vast majority of its airlines’ pre-pandemic routes,” said the group.
“Short-haul travel at times exceeded 2019 traffic levels, while there was a strong recovery in direct long-haul routes, particularly to North America and the Middle East. MAG’s decision not to impose capacity restrictions on its airlines also contributed to the strong performance, allowing carriers to meet passenger demand over the summer period.”
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 group added: “Following an extensive recruitment campaign, service levels at MAG’s airports are now at – or above -those delivered before Covid. Looking ahead to next year, the Group’s airports are continuing to recruit new staff to be able to deliver further improvements in customer service.
“While wider economic factors, including the cost of living, could dampen growth in demand for international travel over the coming months, the group remains confident its positive recovery will continue.”
MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “These half-year results demonstrate the significant progress our business has made over the summer months, and are testament to the hard work and dedication of teams across MAG.
“The uplift in passenger numbers we have seen reflects the strong demand for international travel since restrictions were lifted, with more than 30 million passengers travelling through our airports between April and September.
“After a challenging start to the summer season, I am pleased to have welcomed more than 2,000 new colleagues into the business and want to assure all our customers we are focussed on delivering a really positive experience for the remainder of the year, and throughout 2023.
“As the UK navigates a period of economic uncertainty, we will be working closely with our airlines to ensure our airports offer passengers an excellent choice of affordable travel options.
“Throughout the first half of this year, MAG has also continued to play an industry leading role in the drive towards a net zero aviation sector, including commitments we made to support the delivery of the Government’s Jet Zero Strategy, alongside the landmark partnership we recently announced with HyNet, to secure the future of hydrogen fuel at Manchester Airport.
“Following the historic agreement by the global aviation sector to reach net zero by 2050 at this year’s ICAO General Assembly, MAG remains committed to playing a leading role in realising this shared global ambition.”