Manchester Airport enters the European Top 20


London has historically been the first thought when travelers are thinking of coming to the UK.Indeed such is the current demand that a new runway is scheduled to be built at London Heathrow (which is currently operating at near maximum capacity).

This situation, a great regional imbalance since London is in the far Southeast of the UK, had to be addressed particularly now that regenerating the North of England and attracting new investment and tourists is now very much on the agenda.


Manchester is the third biggest city in England and arguably the capital of the North, so it is to be welcomed that there has been some strong growth in passenger numbers. Manchester has now entered the Top 20 European Airports. In figures for January 2016 to January 2017 passenger numbers increased 17.7%. In people terms, that is a quarter of a million people.

The advantages of Manchester aviation-wise, are that it has two full-size runways and has a significant spare capacity for growth. Secondly that due to excellent road and rail connections it can serve a large catchment area stretching from Scotland to the English midlands and Wales.

It is envisaged that Manchester and London Stansted (which serves London and East Anglia) will take the capacity strain since it will take up to ten years to add capacity to existing airports.


Important new destinations are already added with a flight to Beijing offered by Hainan, an additional flight to Dubai (Emirates), and 37.5% growth in flights to Spain, Poland (up 63.6%), Italy up (30.1%) and France (up 28.5%).

Demand at all U.K. regional airports has been boosted by the ever expanding services of low-cost airlines, particularly to European holiday destinations and to Eastern Europe.

However, Manchester now has several transatlantic services including Norwegian Airlines new service to Las Vegas, and KLM, American Airlines and Air Canada.


Attractions near Manchester include the Peak District and the Lake District (both national parks), plus the city of Liverpool with its Beatles connections.Manchester also has two world-class football teams (United and City) who have enormous international followings and attract regular pilgrimages to the city.

Manchester is also a stopping point prior to visiting Ireland, as regular ferry services sail from nearby Holyhead in North Wales, which has direct rail and road links. London is now only 2 hours from London on high-speed rail.


Regional airports in the U.K. have always been dominated by London ones. However, capacity issues coupled with expanding demand, new destinations plus a desire to promote the U.K. regions, are changing these perceptions rapidly. For the consumer, it is a boost to be able to travel to the North of England without going to London first.

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