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Manchester Airport celebrates a bumper year

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The UK’s third largest airport fought off competition from the likes of Heathrow, Liverpool and Birmingham to receive the accolade

Manchester Airport is celebrating a record breaking 2017 after more passengers than ever flew from the UK’s third largest airport.

Last year 27,791,274 passengers passed through the airport’s three terminals, an 8.5% increase year on year, with cargo up 9% to 123,576 tonnes.

The year saw the launch of new routes to destinations such as San Francisco, Muscat, Boston, Riyadh, Granada and Seville.  The first flight to San Francisco saw a 30-strong delegation of leading figures from the tech sector across the North head state side opportunity to meet leading US universities and funders, pitching investment and collaboration opportunities in the North.

Last year was also a good year for passengers flying to the Far East as both Cathay Pacific and Hainan Airlines increased their services to Beijing and Hong Kong to daily.  In November an economic report by Steer Davies Gleeve revealed that in its first year of operation the Manchester-Beijing route has driven a significant increase in exports, inward investment, and international student numbers into the North.

April saw a new VIP lounge open in Terminal Three. It was aptly named1903, after the year of the first Wright Brother flight.

The Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, also visited Manchester Airport in July to see work begin on its 10-year, £1 billion transformation programme. In November the first apprentices through the airport’s on-site academy were rewarded with full time jobs and building work on the site is now well under way.

In August, the airport welcomed back Andrew Cowan from Stansted Airport, as he became CEO of the UK’s global gateway in the North.

In December the airport had its busiest ever Christmas period with 1,833,620 passengers jetting off – a 1.5% increase on December 2016.

Andrew Cowan, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “It’s been another strong year for Manchester Airport as passenger numbers continued to grow and we celebrated the launch of a number of key routes.

“The start of the building work for the Transformation programme was another key milestone for the airport.  The project will allow us to unlock the full potential of our two runways and provide our passengers with a great customer experience.  As we look ahead to 2018, we expect that passenger numbers will continue to grow and we’re looking forward to the launch of a new route to Seattle with Thomas Cook Airlines.”