Stansted sets annual passenger record

A record number of 28.5 million passengers used Stansted in the year to March as parent company MAG reported an overall rise in numbers.

MAG, which owns and operates Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports, saw annual usage increase by 13.4% to more than 61 million passengers.

Stansted’s annual volumes rose by 11.8% while Manchester airport’s total of 28.7 million was almost 14% up year-on-year.

East Midlands airport reached an annual total of 4.1m passengers for the first time since pre-pandemic 2019, up 22.4% on last year. The airport handled 240,000 passengers, up 30.7% on the same months last year, and equal to 94% of 2019 levels.

Stansted served 2.2 million passengers last month – up 10.8% on last year and equal to 104% of 2019 levels – helped by the early Easter.

Manchester airport also had a record month, with 2.2 million passengers in March – the sixth consecutive month it recorded its best-ever performance. The figure was 104% of 2019 levels, up 12.3% year-on-year.

All passengers at the three airports passed through security in 15 minutes or less, according to the group.

The top destinations from Stansted in the year to March were Dublin, Istanbul and Edinburgh, with the most popular countries being Spain, Italy and Poland.

Destinations showing the biggest year-on-year growth included Dubai, thanks to Emirates returning to a double-daily service, Switzerland, Iceland and Moldova.

MAG chief executive Ken O’Toole said: We work hard to ensure our airports provide the best possible choice of destinations to passengers – whatever their reason for travel – and in a way that makes international travel as affordable and accessible as possible.

“These latest figures demonstrate that our airports are meeting the needs of passengers up and down the country, which in turn helps create jobs and drive economic prosperity in the regions we serve.

“London Stansted is now serving more passengers than it did before the pandemic – which is testament to the value and ease it offers passengers to an unrivalled choice of European destinations and connections to the Middle East.

“Through the transformation programmes we’re delivering across the group, MAG is investing in the future of air travel, and working to provide an excellent experience for passengers travelling through our airports.”

Stansted managing director Gareth Powell added: “In preparation to welcome millions of passengers heading away this summer, or overseas tourists choosing Stansted as their gateway to the UK, we are recruiting even more colleagues to join our teams and upgrading many facilities and services to enhance the passenger experience as demand to fly from London Stansted continues to grow at pace.”

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