Emirates revealed the ongoing demand for its Manchester to Dubai route, reporting a 9.5 per cent annual growth on 2015.
A total of 610,000 passengers have flown between the two cities this year, and Emirates is all set to hit the record milestone of 1,000,000 during the 2016 financial year.
Emirates’ presence at Manchester has grown significantly since its first full year of operation in 1991.
During which it carried just 17,000 passengers from the region.
It has since carried over nine million people to the UAE and beyond, with popular destinations including Bangkok, Perth, Singapore and Mumbai.
Testament to the demand from across the north-west, as well as Emirates’ ongoing commitment to the region, the airline announced that a third daily A380 service will be added to the route from January 2017, replacing the existing Boeing 777-300ER, and adding a further 11 per cent capacity.
Emirates SkyCargo continues to go from strength to strength in the region.
In contrast to the 450 tonnes carried in 1990, over 22,000 tonnes of cargo is now carried on average from Manchester Airport each year.
Automotive, healthcare products and foodstuffs represent the primary cargo transported, with key eastern export destinations for Mancunian businesses including Dubai, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Johannesburg – highlighting the significance of these markets to the local economy.
Laurie Berryman, Emirates vice president, UK, said: “Manchester was the second route launched in the UK and it remains just as important to our operations today as it was 25 years ago.
“Since 1990, Manchester has grown from a small regional airport to a vital gateway for the north of the country, and the demand we’re seeing for both travel and exports to Dubai and beyond has never been stronger.
“To hit the symbolic milestone of one million passengers will be hugely significant for us, and will only strengthen our commitment and contribution to the region.
“We are the only airline to employ the iconic A380 outside of London, and the launch of the third daily service will allow us to offer even more of our Manchester passengers the exceptional level of service they have come to expect from us.”
Emirates’ wider contribution to the north-west economy has grown alongside its expansion at Manchester Airport, connecting local people and businesses to global destinations and markets.
It now employs 30 permanent staff at the airport, while its European customer contact centre, which is based in Manchester, employs over 350 people.
Some 70 crew members stay in Manchester every night between flights at local hotels.
The airline also invested £1.5 million in the Emirates Lounge, which opened at Manchester Airport in October 2009.