Airline says Manchester growth will see it top 4 million

RYANAIR, the low cost airline, has revealed significant expansion at Manchester Airport, which it says is being driven by demand from European businesses for direct links to the North West.

The Irish airline says recent growth at Manchester has made it the 10th busiest of 80 bases around Europe and expects this momentum to continue during the winter schedule, where it has announced a record number of flights and three new routes.

As revealed last week, its winter schedule – which runs form October 31 to March 31 2017 – includes routes to Berlin, Hamburg and Nuremberg. Ryanair will also offer eight new winter services to Bratislava, Carcassonne, Limoges, Malta, Murcia, Palma, Paris and Valencia, and more flights on 10 existing routes.

It says this will deliver 4.1 million customers next year and support 3,100* jobs, representing growth of 33% at Manchester Airport.

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: “Manchester is proving to be very good for us, and us for it. Among consumers there is confidence underpinned by job security and a fairly strong pound against the euro, while in-bound we’re seeing a big increase in demand to fly to Manchester from businesses wanting to avoid London and connect with the north.

“Ryanair is growing around 10% a year, last year at Manchester it was 25%, and next year we expect passenger numbers to be up 33%, consolidating us as the biggest airline by market share there.

“We also have Leeds and Liverpool, which remain important bases for us, but Manchester is where the big growth is.”

Ken O’Toole, managing director at Manchester Airport said: “We are pleased to see one of our largest carriers add new routes and increase frequency at Manchester Airport. The introduction of flights to Nuremberg, where Ryanair will be the only carrier on the route, has been widely welcomed by key corporates in the North West and will see further growth in business and inbound tourism from a key strategic European market.

“The additional choice, accessibility and availability from winter 2016 will be well received by the 22m people in our catchment area, which spans as far north as Scotland and as south to the West Midlands. Furthermore it is pleasing to see the additional jobs created by Ryanair’s growth and further illustrates the positive impact of a growing Manchester Airport in supporting economic growth for the region.”