All-time record passenger numbers drive profits at MAG Airports

All-time record passenger numbers drive profits at MAG Airports Hainan Airlines took of from Manchester for Beijing earlier this year

MAG has reported continued strong growth in EBITDA for the six months to September 30th, recording an increase of 6.6 per cent, £216 million.

New route development has been the principal driver, seeing passenger numbers increase to pre-recession levels at Manchester and London Stansted airports.

MAG passenger numbers group-wide in the first six months of the financial year were up 7.7 per cent year-on-year to 32 million.

Manchester Airport alone is now serving more than 25 million passengers per year for the first time in its history and London Stansted handling over 24 million, breaking its previous record set in 2007.

Charlie Cornish, MAG chief executive, said: “During the first half of the financial year, the group has continued to exceed its challenging financial targets and delivered good growth in both passenger numbers and revenue, driven by new route offerings and the completion of the significant terminal redevelopment at London Stansted.

“Our airports will continue to be amongst the most significant drivers of economic growth in their regions, as spare capacity enables them to grow more quickly than other airports.

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“With the decision on Heathrow now made, government must quickly commit to developing a new aviation policy that will maximise these opportunities for both the country as a whole and the regions that our airports serve.”

Increased revenues at MAG have also been driven by the completion of terminal renovations at London Stansted and East Midlands – with retail revenue across the group up 11 per cent on last year, compared with the first six months the previous year.

The start of a new direct service from Manchester to Beijing with Hainan Airlines in June 2016 has been a success for MAG, with load factors at 90 per cent over the summer.

The route is the only link to mainland China from the UK outside of London.

Cornish added: “As the country prepares to enter a new era, we will be working closely with government and the rest of our industry to put in place a framework that will ensure the UK has the very best connections to the rest of the world - something that is fundamental building block for a modern, trading economy.

“At no point have the excellent links that this country’s airports provide been more vital to the nation’s future prosperity and economic growth.”