Reminder from Manchester airport of just what a large % of UK air passengers are on leisure trips

Manchester airport is happy to promote itself as playing a vital role in boosting the UK economy, providing business links, attracting inward investment and promoting trade etc.  However, CAA data in the Air Passenger Survey of 2011 show only around 18% of Manchester’s passengers were on business. The airport enthused before Christmas about how busy it was, and “Around 620,000 passengers are set to travel through Manchester Airport over the Christmas and New Year holiday period – an increase of 4.5% or 27,000 on the same period last year (593,000).”  And not a mention of any business travellers at all.  So much for the claims that UK air travel is of huge benefit to the UK economy.  In reality, most air travel is by leisure passengers, who are then likely to take money out of the UK on their trips, contributing to the annual tourism deficit.  The top summer destination from Manchester  is the Canary Islands, followed by Turkey, Greece, the Balearic Islands, and Tunisia. So much for boosting business links.



Compare the stories below with the comment made by MAG, giving evidence to the House of Commons in 2010  link  : MAG said:  “The economic importance of Manchester Airport to the North has been well documented. Access to international markets connectivity via Manchester has been one of the reasons for the region’s economic success and its ability to attract inward investment.”

From CAA data, in 2011 only 18.1% of passengers at Manchester airport were on business. The rest were leisure passengers.  Page 13 of  2011 CAA Air Passenger Survey Report. 

In Manchester Airport’s Master Plan, it states: “Aviation is essential to the UK’s economy and prosperity. Manchester Airport is one of the key drivers of regional growth.”  (page 5 of link )   and “Airport growth can help deliver the Government’s wider objectives for sustainable communities and raise the economic performance of the English regions.”  (page 16) and “Aviation is vital for many of the sectors of the economy that have the highest growth potential. These include the knowledge industries, logistics networks, high value industries and suppliers of aviation services.”  (page 19) and so on …..



Package holidays boost for Manchester airport

9.1.2013  (Lancashire Evening Post)
Manchester Airport is cashing in thanks to a resurgence in families jetting off on 70s-style package holidays.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released figures showing the traditional package holiday has made a steady comeback in recent years, with families turning to all-inclusive options to save money.

Package holidays also grew by 5% between 2010 and 2012, while independent holidays declined by 5%.

Bosses have reported an increase in the number of people travelling from Manchester Airport on cut-price package trips

According to operator, Thomas Cook, searches on their website have hit 4.5 million since Christmas Day and are up a third compared with January 2012.

Bosses say the top summer destination from Manchester Airport is the Canary Islands – with searches up by 17% on last year – followed by Turkey, Greece, the Balearic Islands, and Tunisia.

And for those wanting to escape the winter-blues in 2013, the Canary Islands have proved the most popular destination, followed by Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey and Cuba.

Thomas Cook say that research carried out shows many are taking drastic measures to save for their break abroad, with some taking on second jobs to fund their travels.

Thomson Holidays say their most popular hot-spot this summer departing from Manchester Airport is Majorca, closely followed by Dalaman in Turkey, Menorca, Tenerife and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

Joanna Wild, retail director at Thomas Cook, said: “With pressure on household budgets set to remain in 2013, we’ll see Brits look to reduce their holiday spend by going all-inclusive more than ever before, taking shorter holidays and many staying in Europe to take advantage of a strong pound.”

Jeremy Ellis, marketing director at Thomson and TUI UK and Ireland said: “We’ve modernised our holidays to suit the needs of all our customers, everyone from couples to groups and families.

“We now travel to destinations all over the world from airports across the UK – including Manchester – and have listened to customer feedback to design our holidays to cater for all tastes and budgets.”

And Manchester Airport’s own website said, before Christmas:

Manchester Airport expecting festive getaway rush of 620,000 travellers

20th December 2012 (Manchester airport)

Around 620,000 passengers are set to travel through Manchester Airport over the Christmas and New Year holiday period – an increase of 4.5% or 27,000 on the same period last year (593,000).

The busiest day of the ‘Getaway’ period – which runs from Friday 21st December, 2012 to Friday 4th January, 2013 – is set to be Friday 21st, when more than 50,000 passengers travel through the airport (c. 30,000 departing) coinciding with the end of the school term for Christmas.

The most popular destinations include Palma, Tenerife, Florida, Dubai and Alicante, with cheap package holidays tempting travellers to seek out sunshine. Long Haul routes such as New York, Washington, Chicago and Abu Dhabi also feature strongly; whilst City Breaks nearer to home are also popular, with Antwerp, Dublin, Warsaw, Munich, Gothenburg, Dubrovnik and Reykjavik among the favourites.

Andrew Harrison, Chief Operating Officer of Manchester Airport’s parent company, M.A.G, said: “We are preparing for another busy Christmas and New Year period as thousands of people take to the skies, be it for sunnier climes, returning home, mini breaks, or long haul trips to North America, the Middle East or to connect to places like Australia and the Far East.

“We’ve experienced good growth in passenger numbers throughout 2012 with airlines adding a variety of new services and increased options on existing routes. Rounding the year off with a busy festive period underlines the strength and range of what is on offer to people who prefer to fly direct from the North of England – and provides an optimistic outlook into 2013.”

[So no mention there of the airport boosting the “vital links that boost the UK economy” to important business destinations – just lots of talk of leisure destinations and leisure trips of one sort or another; largely increasing the UK tourism deficit, of the net amount of money exported from the UK by the excess of travellers from the UK taking their money to spend abroad, over the number of inbound tourists].,000travellers