Manchester Airports match pre-pandemic traffic

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said it recorded a total of 60 million passengers for the 2023 calendar year – a figure that matches the group’s pre-pandemic annual total.

MAG owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports and is owned by a combination of public and private shareholders, including Manchester City Council (35.5%), IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (35.5%) and the nine other Greater Manchester local authorities (29%).

MAG said it recorded a strong performance in December, during which 4.3 million passengers passed through its airports.

That meant the month’s passenger total was 103% of 2019 levels, and up by a fifth year-on-year for the group.

London Stansted and Manchester both recorded their busiest Decembers on record, serving 2 million passengers each – up 12.1% and 16.9% year-on-year respectively — and both ahead of 2019 levels.

East Midlands Airport served more than 190,000 passengers across December, a figure which represented 93% of pre-pandemic traffic.

London Stansted’s calendar year total of almost 28 million passengers was its third busiest on record.

“Service levels across MAG airport remained high across December, where 100% of passengers passing through security in 15 minutes or less at East Midlands Airport, with the figure standing at 99% at Manchester Airport and 96% at London Stansted,” said MAG.

“Last week, East Midlands Airport announced an investment programme of more than £120m to improve all aspects of the passenger experience over the next five years.

“The programme will include expanding the security hall to facilitate next generation scanning equipment, and an improvement to customer seating and heating and cooling in the terminal building.

“It will also see upgrades to the airport’s air traffic control systems and a reconstruction of its taxiways.”

MAG CEO Ken O’Toole said: “I am pleased to see how well our airports performed in what is one our busiest months of the year – ensuring families could be reunited and people could enjoy their well-earned breaks over the festive period – while continuously offering high levels of customer service.

“This strength of performance over the entire calendar year is a demonstration of the choice, ease, and convenience our airports offer to millions of people across the UK and around the world. I am proud to see MAG once again serving 60m passengers annually following a strong recovery from the most difficult period in our industry’s history.

“The £120m investment in East Midlands Airport, alongside the £440m final phase of investment in Manchester’s Terminal 2 and plans to extend London Stansted’s terminal reinforces MAG’s commitment to improving the passenger experience and investing in a sustainable future for our sector, and the regions we serve.”