Over the financial year 2012-2013, Manchester Airport saw some 19.81 million passengers pass through its departure and arrival gates.
This is an additional 680,000 passengers compared to the previous financial year; a year-on-year increase of 3.6 per cent. Key to this increase was the eleven consecutive months of year-on-year passenger growth enjoyed by the airport between May 2012 and March 2013.
March passenger figures also showed some of the largest increases, bringing the financial year to an end on a high. An increase of 6.23% on the previous March (helped by Easter falling early) was seen in the number of passengers; whilst the load factor (the measure of how full each flight is) was up 4% on the previous year, to a high of 78%.
New routes added last year are being cited as the largest contributor to the up-turn in the airport’s fortunes. During 2012 an additional fourteen routes were launched from Manchester, including destinations such as Washington D.C. and Moscow. Passengers are reacting well to these new routes – and those scheduled to commence this summer – with research suggesting people are choosing to use Manchester over other UK airports.
The combination of new and existing routes will give Manchester Airport the capacity to connect an estimated 22 million people who live within two hours of the airport with flights to destinations across the globe– emphasising the importance of the regional airport, especially as the South East remains plagued by capacity issues.
Ken O’Toole, chief commercial officer of the Manchester Airports Group – the airport’s owners – said that the airport had shown the “highest growth of any major airport in the UK.”
He added: ““This growth has been driven by a combination of new routes, increased frequency and stronger overall load factors. In particular we have delivered new routes to key global markets which in line with our objectivity of making the North of England better connected for business and tourism. The summer schedule is already well populated with new routes to Russia, Egypt and Greece so we are confident of adding further growth, handling in excess of 20 million passengers.”