Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has published its annual results following the “first full year of restriction-free travel”.
The group – which operates Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports – served 54 million passengers between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023, equivalent to 91 per cent of levels in 2019-2020.
Stansted topped the group in terms of passenger recovery, recording 95 per cent or pre-pandemic traffic over the period, with Manchester seeing 89 per cent of 2019-2020 levels, and East Midlands lagging behind on 73 per cent.
MAG also recorded annual revenues of £1 billion for the first time, and reported an operating profit of £28.6 million (after accounting for one-offs), compared to a loss of £130 million in the year to April 2022.
The group said that recovery had been particularly strong in the low-cost, short-haul sector, citing Ryanair, Jet2, easyJet and TUI as carriers which had added “a significant number of direct connections across the Group”.
MAG said that all three of its airports were “delivering a consistently good level of service to passengers”, adding that the group was now focused “on delivering significant investment in its airports to enhance the passenger experience”.
This week London Stansted published new plans to add a three-bay extension added to the back of its terminal building, which it said would provide “a more spacious departure lounge for passengers, including new shops, bars and restaurants, state-of-the-art check-in equipment, increased baggage system capacity and an enlarged security hall with additional space for more security lanes fitted with next-generation scanners”.
Earlier this year Manchester airport – which is in the midst of celebrating its 85th birthday – commenced the final £440 million phase of its £1.3 billion transformation programme, which is due for completion in 2025.
The works will expand the retail and restaurant offering at Terminal 2, with a total of 27 new shops and restaurants including a champagne bar, brasserie and food market alongside an extended departure lounge.
Commenting on the news, MAG’s outgoing CEO Charlie Cornish – who will move to a new position as MAG Chair when Ken O’Toole takes over as the group’s new CEO in October – said:
“This year’s results highlight the scale of the recovery that MAG and the aviation industry have seen over the last 12 months.
“With our airports’ route networks returning to full strength, we have been able to offer passengers the wide range of global destinations they enjoy. It has also been encouraging to see the strength of the recovery in demand for travel, with passenger traffic at our airports more than 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
“As I reflect on my final full-year results before I stand down as MAG CEO, I am pleased to have overseen such a positive year for our airports, and the progress we made in delivering high levels of customer service. I would like to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and dedication, not just over this past 12 months, but throughout my time with the business.
“During my time as CEO I am proud of what the Group has achieved, from a significant period of growth pre-pandemic and the work we have done to recover, to the leading role we continue to play in aviation decarbonisation.
“We are now focused on delivering investment across the Group to enhance the airport experience for our passengers and drive future sustainable growth, and I look forward to overseeing these projects in my new role as MAG Chair.”