Manchester Airports Group as backed plans for a new high-speed rail trans-Pennine rail link.
Plans for the faster rail route were outlined by new prime minister Boris Johnson in Liverpool at the weekend.
The full details of the Leeds-Manchester route would be published in the autumn following a review into the HS2 high-speed line from London, according to Johnson.
The Northern Powerhouse rail project is part of a wider commitment to deliver a high-speed railway network across the north of England, which would cost about £39 billion.
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of airports group MAG, said: “The prime minster’s commitment to build a new rail line between Manchester and Leeds is an important and welcome step towards the creation of Northern Powerhouse Rail.
“As well as improving connectivity across the north, the full Northern Powerhouse Rail route, when completed, will make it easier and quicker for people to get to Manchester airport – the north’s global gateway – which will strengthen global connectivity and international trade links from the north.”
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