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Manchester Airport uses world's most modern and efficient plane

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Page last updated: 20th Jan 2017 - 10:24 AM

An aircraft boasting the title of world’s most ‘efficient and modern’ plane has started service at Manchester Airport. The Singapore Airline Airbus 350-900 touched down for the first time in the UK at 8am on Tuesday, 40 minutes ahead of schedule! This development makes Manchester the only non-London airport within the UK to have this specific plan in operation, and will see the Asian airline serve Houston and Singapore from its terminals.

Stephen Turner, commercial director at Manchester Airport, added: “The introduction of Singapore Airlines’ A350 is a historic moment for Manchester Airport, as we welcome this aircraft for the first time on a scheduled service here.

The Airbus, which is built up of 53pc combination of polymer and carbon is lighter, quieter and overall a more economical aircraft than any other used today, and will become a replacement for the current Boeing 777. The plane also uses aluminium and titanium alloys, whilst the wings are assembled at the £400m factory owned by Airbus in Chester.
67 aircrafts have been ordered by Singapore Airlines and production techniques are always being fine tuned to ensure constant improvement of the planes. The process of production, all the way through to flying the aircraft, will mean more than 6,000 jobs in the UK will be created alone, with an additional 5,000 positions in production supply chain.

Singapore Airlines’ general manager of UK and Ireland, Sheldon Hee, spoke about the A350 proving to be a commitment to the North-West and its economy. Also adding ““It is great to see that by working alongside Airbus our A350s have helped support jobs in the North West and wider UK economy and also allowed this region to showcase itself as a hotbed of technological talent.”

The flights would run 5 times a week between Manchester and Singapore on every day of the week, except Tuesday and Friday. As for the second destination, westbound flights to Singapore (continuing to Houston after a Manchester stopover) will operate again 5 times a week, excluding Monday and Thursday.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Manchester Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Each September, as a brand new year of students begin life at any of the 25 universities within a 2 hour drive from Manchester, the airport sees an influx of international students looking to travel to the city too. September 2016 saw a huge 2.7m passengers use the airport’s facilities, bumping up their annual total to 25 million!

Another reason for the high passenger numbers are the holidaymakers who are grabbing the last rays of summer sun before it disappears! Manchester Airport’s top five most popular destinations in September included; Majorca, the Costas and Tenerife as well as Dubai and New York also being very popular. September also landmarked Flybe’s launch of its service to Luxembourg, as well as Austrian Airlines celebrating a full year of flying between Manchester and Vienna.

Ken O’Toole, Manchester Airport CEO, said: “It’s been another excellent month for the airport as we continue to break passenger records on a monthly basis. It was also particularly pleasing to see the large numbers of international students arriving into the airport ahead of starting their studies.

“The wide range of institutions from as far as Wales, Scotland, the North East and Yorkshire meeting the students only served to highlight the importance of our connectivity and wide reach of our catchment area.”

Adding a sporting slant on the increased passenger numbers, airport staff were excited to welcome many of Team GB’s northern based Paralympians who were returning from their participation in the Rio Games. The airport saw an 11% increase in aircraft movements in September with over 18,600 planes coming and going from the two runways.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Manchester Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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You can now travel direct to China from Manchester Airport!

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Page last updated: 15th Jun 2016 - 12:49 PM

Manchester Airport has made history by becoming the first UK airport outside of London to offer direct flights to the mainland in China. The route, which will take place four times a week, will offer a huge convenience to the 100,000 passengers who have, up until now, been flying non-direct.

Not only will this be great for the passengers, but according to Transport Minister Andrew Jones, the route will be worth a staggering £250m in economic benefits. Mr Jones also added: “The new route between Manchester and Beijing is a testament to the strength of the Northern Powerhouse, opening up the North of England to investment while benefitting the many thousands of people who currently travel between the cities each year.”

The route was launched on Friday (10/06/16) and has already proved very popular, reaching over 90% capacity. It will cut journey times to just 10 ½ hours as passengers will no longer need to wait for a connecting flight, and whilst this may hardly seem like a short journey, the fact that this service is now available means it has been shortened by nearly four hours!

With huge trade, tourism and economic benefits guaranteed from this new route, we are looking forward to seeing the relationships formed between these two cities! Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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Vueling announces three new routes from Manchester airport

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Page last updated: 24th Mar 2016 - 03:41 PM

Good news for sun-seeker’s - Vueling Airlines have just announced new routes to three different destinations for the summer. The airline have recently said it will offer one flight a week to Tenerife, which is the largest of the Canary Islands, during July and August. This will be followed by two flights a week in September and October, which is ideal if you don’t manage to get away in the summer!

June will also mark the start of two new routes to Alicante and Rome. With Vueling already flying to Barcelona, it would seem that the budget airline are the people to travel with this summer. This expansion of routes is certainly good news for Manchester Airport as well. This will hopefully help to increase the already substantial 22 million passengers a year the airport welcomes.

The airline hopes to be able to offer 108,000 seats over the summer period and with flights available right into the winter months, it seems as if a bit of winter sun may be within reach - and for a good price as well! We look forward to these developments and hope that the passengers get to experience the holiday of their dreams.

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Manchester airport’s terminal is set to double in size

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Page last updated: 16th Dec 2015 - 11:50 AM

Manchester airport has been reaching out to local businesses to ask them for a £500m investment to transform their terminal building, as part of their 10-year programme to improve the airport.

The plan involves an extension being built which will lead to Terminal 2 being more than double the size it is currently. Not only this, but they also plan to improve the existing access roads by making them more efficient and give the existing forecourt an upgrade. Along with this, Manchester Evening News has stated that links will be created to connect Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 and “Terminal 1 will be demolished”. The improvements inside the buildings will include security queue times being cut to just 5 minutes.

The airport has stated that although this is a 10-year programme, the effects will last much longer than that. The project is said to be creating another 20,000 jobs, which would mean that this is double what they offer already. However, it looks as if they are going to need all the help they can get; with 10m passengers expected to be passing through within the next decade.

It would seem that the airport is not only trying to attract customers, but also new airlines and new routes. The airport is keen to improve their customer services in order to be noticed along with the biggest airports in the UK such as Heathrow and Gatwick. It is already the only UK airport outside the capital city with direct routes to Miami, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Singapore, Atlanta, Washington and Boston. This expansion will clearly be a massive opportunity for this airport.

It’s not only the airport that will be affected by this set of improvements. This will also be a big deal for the local area, and the entirety of Manchester itself. It is thought that with the airport having all of these improvements, the local tourism industry would see an increase too. It would seem that this transformation is good for everyone!

In an interview with ITV News, the Manchester airport transformation programme director Brad Miller said “Over the next decade, the airport will continue to develop as a global gateway for the UK, directly to and from the North, and these enhancements will enable us to further adapt, modernise and transform the customer service experience we are able to offer.” Although the project will span for at least 10 years, it seems that this experience can only be a positive one. The only thing we’re waiting for now, is a business which is willing to invest.

If you’re a Manchester resident, we’d love to hear your thoughts about the expansion and how it will be affecting you. Let us know in the comments below!

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RAF jet escorts Qatar Airways plane to Manchester

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Page last updated: 11th Aug 2014 - 09:45 AM

Earlier this week an RAF Typhoon fighter jet was scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to escort Qatar Airways flight QR23 to Manchester Airport. The flight, which had taken off from Doha, was deemed to be a security threat to the UK after a passenger claimed that there was a bomb on board.

The Airbus flight carried 269 passengers and 13 crew and landed safely at a remote part of the runway before armed police boarded the plane and arrested a 47-year-old man. Nine incoming flights had to be diverted and flights were fully suspended for 25 minutes.

Police were later able to confirm that the incident had been a hoax and it now transpires that the man, from the North West of England, has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He had handed a note to a member of the cabin crew stating that there was a bomb on board and had apparently seemed sober and coherent. Air traffic control was advised accordingly, resulting in the action from the RAF Quick Reaction Alert Fighter.

It seems that although this particular incident has hit the headlines in a big way, perhaps because of other recent bad news in the aviation industry, fighter jets are launched more often than you might think. They were scrambled 17 times last year, 21 times in 2012 and 20 in 2011. Reasons for scrambling include if a plane has lost contact, if it is not responding to air traffic control, if a security threat is reported (as in this case) or if it is acting unusually.

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Saudia Airlines to add direct flights from Manchester to Jeddah

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Page last updated: 29th Jan 2014 - 02:31 PM

Saudia Airlines, the flag carrier airline of Saudi Arabia, will be returning to Manchester airport in 2014 with three direct flights to Jeddah per week. Flights will depart from Manchester Airport’s terminal two on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays beginning on March 28th.

Saudia had terminated all routes from Manchester Airport in 2007, but now with the city's quickly growing diversity, airport authorities are confident that these re-established routes will attract large numbers of both business and leisure passengers.

At the time of the 2001 census, 9.1 % of Manchester's population identified themselves as Muslim, giving Greater Manchester one of the largest Muslim populations in the UK. Part of this statistic can be attributed to the many Saudi students who have chosen to further their education in the internationally recognised universities in the north of England. These students will now have an easier and more convenient way to get home, and others will benefit from this service when travelling in the religious pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.

Ken O’Toole, chief commercial officer for Manchester Airports Group, stated: "The introduction of this route is testament to the strength of Manchester airport's catchment and we look forward to this direct service supporting the strong commercial, ethnic and educational relationships that exist between Saudi Arabia and the north west."

Saudia is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation and joined the SkyTeam airline alliance on 29 May 2012. The airline was once the largest carrier in the region, but due to the continuing development and rapid growth of other airports, Saudia is now ranked third largest, behind Emirates and Qatar Airways.

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Staff at Manchester on look-out for human trafficking

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Page last updated: 16th Dec 2013 - 02:42 PM

Staff at Manchester Airport have been undertaking some unusual training recently, helping them to detect vulnerable men, women and children being brought into the UK illegally.

Front-line immigration officials are of course the most obvious staff likely to pick up tell-tale signs. However, other staff, including cleaners and baggage handlers, have also undergone the training, which was delivered by various agencies, including the Home Office, Greater Manchester Police, and the UK Border Force, as well as charities such as Stop the Traffik and Saheli, a Manchester-based charity that campaigns against forced marriage.

The usual perception that human trafficking involves people being brought into the country in containers or as stowaways is simply not the whole story. They are just as likely to be sitting on a plane and then queuing up at immigration with everyone else.

Staff were trained to look out for signs including over-hearing passengers rehearsing their stories about where they come from and why they have made the journey, individuals in groups who look out of place or unhappy, signs of fear or anxiety including body language, and physical signs of abuse.

They were also told of the need to continue their vigilance after leaving work. Once in the local community, the training can still be useful as it is frequently not until vulnerable people leave the airport that their predicament becomes clear. They may have been lured to the UK with promises of a better life only to discover that they have in fact been duped into working in the sex industry.

The airport chaplain at Manchester, George Lane, has described the training as invaluable not only for helping his staff but also the vulnerable people involved.

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Winter looking good for Manchester after an excellent summer

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Page last updated: 3rd Dec 2013 - 02:43 PM

Manchester Airport processed over 20 million passengers this summer, making it its busiest summer for five years – and the good news continues for the airport.

Figures have in fact been on the increase for the last 17 months, and the start of the winter period is looking good. Passenger figures were up by 6.6% in Oct as compared with Oct 2012: an increase of 1.8 million people.

With many new routes from Manchester, it is little wonder that the airport is reaping the rewards of campaigns such as “Fly Manchester”. New routes from Ryanair, easyJet, Thomas Cook and Jet2.com, and increased services from many airlines mean that over 153,000 more seats are available this winter compared with last.

New destinations on offer are as follows:

  • easyJet – Lyon and Prague
  • Ryanair – Lanzarote, Paphos and Krakow
  • Thomas Cook – St Lucia, Barbados and Antigua
  • Jet2.com – Faro, Lyon, Palma and Venice

Additional services on pre-existing routes are as follows:

  • easyJet – Basle, Copenhagen, Reykjavik and Tel Aviv
  • Ryanair – Dublin
  • Thomas Cook – Fuerteventura, Tunisia and the Gambia
  • Turkish Airlines - Istanbul
  • Jet2.com – unspecified Spanish destinations
  • Emirates and Etihad – unspecified destinations in the Middle East

The number of available seats has also been boosted by the introduction of the larger A321 aircraft on Air France’s Paris route.

Praise was also being handed out to Manchester airport by Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red, a Heathrow-bound service that started in March this year. Over a quarter of a million passengers used the service in the first six months. A spokesman said that Virgin Atlantic also has plans to increase capacity on its long-haul services from Manchester airport.

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Macdonalds Hotels in the Manchester Airport Guides

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Page last updated: 1st Aug 2013 - 09:20 AM

Macdonalds Hotels, the UK's largest privately owned hotels group, is now featured in the Manchester Airport Guide. Macdonald Hotels operates 45 hotels across the UK, each one with its own unique style, as well as four resorts in Spain.

The Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa is a modern hotel located in the centre of the city. In addition to its multiple facilities available, the Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa is very well known for being one of the top conference venues in Manchester. With prices starting from £45 per person, the Macdonald Manchester Hotel & Spa meeting rooms can host conferences up to 250 people, and are well equipped with air-conditioned as well as their own reception area, breakout space and kitchen.

The Harmony & Serenity Spa is available to all guests and will allow both couples and business travellers to relax and enjoy their range of beauty treatments. What's more, the Scottish Steak Club serves the best prime accredited Scottish steaks in an open kitchen, where guests will be able to see how their food is cooked in front of their eyes.

If you wish to find out more about this hotel and others, please visit our Manchester Airport hotels page.

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