Manchester Airport has broken its all-time passenger record, with 22.32 million people flying through the airport in the last financial year.
The figure is the highest in its 77-year history, beating the previous 12 month record set in July 2006 of 22.26 million.
With 22.3 million passengers per year, Manchester is the UK’s third largest airport and represents growth of 7.5 per cent year on year, with March 2015 seeing growth close to ten per cent.
Manchester Airport – the only UK airport to have two full length runways, along with London Heathrow – has seen an increasing number of passengers within its two-hour drive time catchment area take advantage of new direct long haul services on offer from the North.
Ken O’Toole, managing director at Manchester Airport commented: “This is a magnificent achievement, an historic milestone for Manchester Airport and UK aviation, as well as a huge boost for the economy and the north of England.
“We have worked closely with our airline partners to cement and maintain this continued growth, increasing capacity and frequency on existing routes, plus confirming new services, particularly to serve demand that exists from Manchester in the long-haul market.
“It’s great news that an increasing number of the 22 million UK residents living in our catchment area are choosing to fly from Manchester.
“With Manchester Airport having spare runway capacity we can offer those customers and airlines an alternative to travelling via a congested London airport.
“We have made great headway to unlock the spare capacity at Manchester Airport and are in talks with a range of carriers to further capitalise on the potential we offer in the short to medium term while the south-east capacity debate evolves, as we continue to develop our role as the UK’s global gateway from the North.”
Recent long haul growth out of Manchester Airport includes Cathay Pacific adding a service to Hong Kong, which makes Manchester the only airport outside of London with a direct, non-stop service to China.
Through Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with Delta, capacity has increased on the route to Atlanta, with Delta also adding a brand new service to New York JFK, from May 2015.
May also sees Manchester Airport as the only airport outside of London to offer a direct route to Miami, with Thomas Cook Airlines’ launch of a twice weekly service.