The launch of the north of England’s first ever flight service to mainland China helped drive annual passenger numbers at Manchester Airport over the 24 million mark for the first time in its 78-year history.
June saw 2,520,036 passengers fly through the gateway, which is a 9.22 per cent increase on the same month last year.
That brings the moving annual total for Manchester Airport to 24,095,206.
The growth seen in June has been attributed in part to Hainan Airlines’ four flights a week to Beijing, which launched on June 10th.
The inaugural flights were 90 per cent full and load factors for the summer are currently at more than 80 per cent.
Beijing is one of several new long haul routes launched from Manchester Airport this year, which has a host of destinations not found anywhere else in the UK outside of London.
These include Los Angeles and Boston, both of which are proving popular with customers looking to access North America.
Ken O’Toole, chief executive of Manchester Airport, said: “It’s been another strong month of growth for Manchester Airport as we edge further into the busy summer season.
“We were incredibly proud to welcome and witness the inaugural flight to Beijing, which makes Manchester the only UK airport outside of London with a direct, scheduled service to mainland China.
“I am sure all of our new services are popular with the 22 million people who live within our catchment area, with them also providing a vital economic boost to the region.
“As the year progresses we look forward to securing more direct routes for passengers across the North.”