Airline’s passengers top 610k from Manchester
AIRLINE Emirates has revealed the ongoing demand for its Manchester to Dubai route, reporting a 9.5% annual growth to 610,000 passengers compared to 2015.
The carrier says it set to hit the record milestone of 1,000,000 during the 2016 financial year – April 1 2016 March 31 2017.
Emirates’ presence at Manchester has grown significantly since its first full year of operation, during which it carried just 17,000 passengers from the region.
It has since carried more than nine million people to the UAE and beyond, with popular destinations including Bangkok, Perth, Singapore and Mumbai.
As testament to the demand from across the North West, the airline announced that a third daily A380 service will be added to the route from January 1 2017, replacing the existing Boeing 777-300ER, and adding a further 11% capacity.
Emirates SkyCargo continues to go from strength to strength in the region, the company said. 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.
“There’s been a huge, huge investment in the Manchester area over the last 25 years.
“I can’t emphasise too much how important Manchester is to us. We’re very proud to have been here 26 years and we will continue to grow.”
Stephen Turner, Manchester Airport Group’s commercial director, added: “We’re incredibly proud of our relationship with Emirates and how the airline has flourished here over the last 25 years.
“The A380 has proved hugely popular with passengers and spotters alike since it started flying into the airport in 2010. The third daily A380 now puts Manchester on a par with London, Paris and Barcelona as some of the only European destinations to have an all A380 service.
“We’re looking forward to Emirates continuing to grow and celebrating many more milestones at Manchester Airport in the years to come.
“In the UK context, Manchester is the only airport with two runways other than Heathrow. We absolutely have the potential to grow.”
Emirates employs 30 permanent staff at the airport, while its European customer contact centre, which is based in Manchester, employs more than 350 people. Some 70 crew members stay in Manchester every night between flights at local hotels.
The airline also invested £1.5m in the Emirates Lounge, which opened at Manchester Airport in October 2009.