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Manchester Airport prepares for a busy winter season

After the busiest Summer in five years, which saw passenger numbers rise above 20 million, Manchester Airport is gearing up for an equally busy Winter period. This Winter season will see an abundance of new routes from airlines like Ryanair, easyJet, and Thomas Cook as well as over 153,000 extra seats available compared with the previous Winter.

The first month of the airport’s Winter season – October 2013 - saw over 1,875,000 passengers travelling through compared to October 2012, a rise of over 6.6%, which outperformed the UK market growth and marked the airport’s seventeen consecutive month of year on year growth.

Ken O’Toole, Chief Commercial Officer for MAG, owners of Manchester Airport, said: “This summer was our busiest in five years, as we reaped the rewards from successful campaigns like ‘Fly Manchester’, and saw passenger numbers grow to over 20 million, but we want to see that growth continue into the Winter season. We have put our focus on attracting a multitude of new routes as well as increasing services on the ever popular destinations, so we’re delighted that the offering at Manchester this Winter has increased significantly and we’ll be looking to continue our progress into Summer 2014.” tops the capacity increase list with 33% more seats than Winter 2012. Their new destinations include Faro, Lyon, Palma, Venice as well as increasing flights to popular Spanish destinations.

easyJet, who now have eight based aircraft at Manchester, have also grown their offering seeing a 15% rise in seat capacity. easyJet have added a new ski destination, Lyon and city break favourite Prague, as well as increasing frequencies on services to Basle in Switzerland, Copenhagen in Denmark, Reykjavik in Iceland and Tel Aviv in Israel.

Ryanair, with three based aircraft at Manchester, has 18% extra seats on sale, aided by continuing operations to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Krakow in Poland and Pathos in Cyprus which have proved popular in the Summer season. Ryanair have also increased their Dublin service to thirty flights per week.

Turkish Airlines has seen a 28% increase in capacity for Winter 2013, by flying twice daily to their Istanbul hub and onwards. Air France has upgraded their aircraft on their Paris route to an A321 equating to 6% more seats.

Winter 2013 has also seen the launch of Thomas Cook’s new long haul services to St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua as well as increases in flights to much-loved Winter destinations Fuerteventura, Tunisia and the Gambia, giving them an overall 4% seat growth compared to Winter 2012.

The airport is also seeing an increase in capacity servicing the Middle East with Emirates making an aircraft change on their first of three flights a day to a two class B777, which has 428 seats. Etihad Airways have upgraded their aircraft for December to a B777, which has 412 seats, to cope with demand.

Cargo traffic has also a seen a welcome boost with the announcement of Lufthansa’s fourth weekly service with one of their new B777’s to start operating from Manchester once delivery has been taken. The total tonnes transported was 8,622 for October, a 7.4% increase on last year.

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