Manchester Airport ‘confident’ of funding position even if second wave hits

Manchester Airport

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is confident it has established a “strong liquidity position” to get through the next year, even in the event of a second wave of coronavirus.

The group, which also owns Stansted and East Midlands airports, had raised £300m from shareholders during lockdown and it now believes it has adequate levels of funding past summer 2021.

The 10 borough councils of Greater Manchester own nearly two-thirds of the business, with Australian fund IFM Investors owning the remaining stake.

In a statement, MAG said it was “confident that the Group has sufficient funds to allow it to operate throughout this period, even in reasonable downside scenarios”.

Most airlines have resumed flights or plan to this month, after more than three months of hugely reduced activity, but the speed and trajectory of the recovery remains uncertain.

The industry remains under significant pressure. Ground handler Swissport plans to cut more than 4,500 jobs in the UK, while Birmingham Airport and Leeds Bradford Airport have announced hundreds of job losses in the last week.

MAG had seen a small drop in passenger numbers in the year to March, falling more than 2m to 59.6m people. However revenues had increased by 2.5% to £901m.

MAG said: “Significant investment has been completed in the last three years and MAG’s modern infrastructure will be an important component of a strong recovery.

“Manchester Airport’s modern facilities will continue to be the international gateway for the North, providing passenger and airline facilities for the future, and supporting commercial yields and operating efficiencies.”