Record numbers of passengers flew long haul and within Europe from Manchester airport in May to give an overall uplift of almost 12% to 2.5 million.

The destinations seeing the biggest jump in passenger numbers compared with the same month last year were Alicante, Hamburg and Berlin.

Stansted, also part of the Manchester Airports Group, achieved a 7% increase to 2.3 million passengers as Jet2.com’s new southern base had strong second month and Ryanair and easyJet also grew passenger numbers.

The most popular countries to fly to from Stansted were Spain, Italy, Germany and Poland.

East Midlands and Bournemouth airports also grew passenger numbers in the month, with East Midlands up by 3.9% to 503,000 and Bournemouth growing 4.7% to 74,112.

Stansted chief executive, Andrew Cowan, said: “The strong growth in passenger traffic at the start of the summer season continued in May as we welcomed nearly 2.3 million to Stansted, up 7% on 2016 and more passengers for the month than in any previous year.

“As we head into the main summer period we expect this trend to be maintained with the number of flights already scheduled by our airline partners across the peak months up by around 10% over last summer.

“With passengers clearly wanting to fly from their local airport and take advantage of the 180 destinations on offer, we continue to plan how we meet future passenger growth, add vital capacity and invest in our facilities to provide the best customer experience.”

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