Manchester Airports Group posts £320m annual loss

  • Published
Passengers queuing at Manchester AirportImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Manchester Airport recently appointed a new managing director after weeks of travel chaos

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) lost £320m in the year to the end of March as passenger numbers only reached one third of pre-pandemic levels.

MAG, which owns Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, said its combined losses for the last two years had reached £694m.

While the group's revenues were down 48%, the decline was far less marked than during the previous year.

MAG served 20.5 million passengers in the 12 months to the end of March.

While this was three times the number for the previous year, it was still only a third of the total for 2019-20.

Image source, Manchester Airport Group
Image caption,
It had been an unpredictable year for aviation, said chief executive Charlie Cornish

MAG, which is nearly two-thirds owned by Greater Manchester's 10 borough councils, said its recovery from the worst of the pandemic was "outstripping" other UK airports.

Passenger numbers in May had reached 82% of pre-pandemic levels, it said.

"With travel restrictions in place for nearly all of the last 12 months, it was another uncertain and unpredictable year for MAG and the wider aviation industry," said chief executive Charlie Cornish.

A spike in demand for travel has coincided with staffing shortages.

Manchester Airport recently appointed a new managing director, Chris Woodroofe, after weeks of travel chaos.

Mr Cornish said the pace of the recovery in demand for air travel had "brought its own challenges" and recruitment of new staff "has taken longer and been more difficult than we anticipated".

MAG said that since January, more than 1,500 new employees had taken up roles across the three airports.

This is in addition to hundreds of new staff working for ground handling companies, retailers and airlines.

MAG said waiting times at security "have improved", with 92% of passengers processed in less than half an hour at Manchester Airport in June.

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