War of words erupts as Manchester Airport tries to poach Birmingham business – again

A row has broken out between rival airports after Manchester Airport’s decision to open a pop-up store in Birmingham city centre.

In an aggressive move designed to poach West Midlands business away from Birmingham Airport, Manchester Airport today opened the pop-up shop in the Great Western Arcade.

The shop highlights Manchester Airport’s US routes such as San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Houston.
The cities can currently be reached from the UK only via London or Manchester.

Birmingham Airport is keen to establish routes to both the East and West Coast of the US, a proposition it is now capable of achieving following its runway extension.

The Great Western Arcade shop houses interactive travel-themed games where visitors will be offered the chance to win spot prizes.

Patrick Alexander, head of marketing at Manchester Airport, said: “We have a whole host of long haul routes that currently passengers can either only go from London airports or from Manchester. By coming to Birmingham with our very first pop-up shop means we can educate and show the people of the Midlands how easy Manchester Airport is, as an alternative of getting to, and across the capital, to reach far flung destinations.”

The move has fired off a war of words between the two hubs.

In response to the move, a spokesman from Birmingham Airport said: “It’s surprising that the airport that claims it’s the airport for the north is campaigning quite so extensively in an attempt to attract demand way out of its catchment.”

It is not the first time Manchester has tried to poach Birmingham business.

Last year it staged an event in Birmingham aimed at luring customers to its new Chinese service.

It has also tried to sponsor the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations but failed, although it did become the sponsor of the city’s Pride festival last month.