Last month was Manchester Airport’s busiest December and Christmas on record, with 1,509,721 people flying through the UK’s third biggest airport – a 5.17% increase on December 2014.
An average of 48,700 people flew via Manchester every single day during the 31 days of December, making it the busiest ever Christmas period in the airport’s 77 year history. Whilst the airport was at its busiest, it was also at its best for passengers, as it received its best customer service scores on record.
Major factors for the increase in passengers included more flights and new destinations on offer. Plus, Christmas getaways saw passengers jetting-off for winter sun, skiing and the opportunity to visit loved ones.
Another factor was international students returning home for the festive season after attending universities within Manchester Airport’s two-hour catchment area. This extends north through the Lake District into Scotland; east across Yorkshire and the North East; south to Birmingham and the Midlands; and west into Merseyside and Wales.
The bumper month at Manchester Airport took the total number of passengers for the 2015 calendar year to 23,116,554 – an increase of 5.21% on the total for the 12 months of 2014.
It also means that, on average, 63,333 people flew via Manchester on each of the 365 days of 2015.
In 2015, Manchester Airport recruited 350 extra security staff and invested in improving areas and processes in the terminals, such as spending £6m in security. This was recognised by customers who rated December 2015 as the best month ever for customer service.
Manchester Airport’s Net Promoter Survey (NPS) gives airport users the opportunity to provide both positive and negative feedback about their experience when travelling through the airport – and December saw 96% of customers rating their overall departure experience as “good, very good or excellent”, and 94% saying the same for their arrivals experience.
Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, said: “December was a record-breaking end to a record-breaking year and I am very proud of what we have achieved and thank all who have contributed to this success.
“It is also testament to the impact of our ‘Fly Manchester’ campaign to win back people from our catchment area who fly via London airports when the same service is accessible to them from Manchester.
“Looking ahead, we have some very exciting new routes already confirmed to start in 2016, including to Beijing with Hainan Airlines, plus Boston and Los Angeles with Thomas Cook Airlines.
“We continue to look to expand the route network and connect the North to the rest of the world.
“The experience passengers have when they use our airport is also hugely important to us and that is why it was especially pleasing to record our best ever NPS customer services score during what was our busiest December on record.”
Air freight at Manchester Airport was also up by 10.38% in December 2015, compared to the same period last year, with 8,600 tonnes carried during the month.
This increase took the total amount of cargo carried for the 2015 calendar year to 103,922 tonnes – an increase of 10.32% compared to the 12 months of 2014.