Manchester Airport’s busiest ever festive period helped the northern gateway to report a record year for passenger numbers in 2018.
More than 28.2 million passengers passed through the UK’s third largest airport in the last 12 months.
Popular holiday hot spots included Turkey – with passenger numbers to Antalya and Dalaman up 50% and 30% respectively versus 2017.
Morocco’s Agadir also saw a significant increase of 95%.
Further afield, traffic to Hong Kong increased by 39% and Muscat was up 34% against 2017, showcasing increased demand for long-haul connectivity from the northern hub.
Andrew Cowan, Manchester Airport CEO, said: “Last year was a strong one for the airport with a number of key long-haul routes launched and a range of significant milestones achieved.”
He added: “The year also saw us celebrate our 80th birthday and it was great to celebrate the milestone with a wide range of people and organisations over the course of the 12 months.”
Activities ranged from the release of the poignant “Time Flies” film, created in partnership with Tony Walsh, to involvement in Manchester Day and the planting of 80 oak trees across the region.
“Now we are into a new year,” continued Andrew, “excitement is really building about the delivery of the first phase of our £1bn transformation programme.
“There has been impressive progress on what is the biggest investment in our history and in April, the first brand new pier will open to passengers.
“I look forward to celebrating the occasion with customers, airlines and other partner organisations.
“As 2019 progresses we will continue to work hard to secure further new routes to important business and leisure destinations across the world, unlocking opportunities for all of the North.”
During 2018 there were 201,239 take offs and landings from the airport’s two full length runways – more than 550 per day on average.
Furthermore 117,264 tonnes of freight were also carried onboard those flights.
In December, close to two million (1,956,784) passengers passed through the terminals – making it the airport’s busiest ever December (an increase of 7% on 2017).
For the festive getaway between the 21st and 31st of December, more than 715,000 people flew in and out of the airport, up from 655,000 for the same period the previous year.
Manchester Airport is a global gateway and the largest airport outside London, with over 210 destinations served by 70 airlines.