Development of Terminal 2 is the big story at Manchester Airport at present, according to aviation director Julian Carr. The investment of more than £1 billion will double the capacity at the terminal over the next three years.
“Slot 1, the peak time when the first flights go out in the morning, is almost full as we have more than 100 based aircraft overnighting at the airport,” Carr explains. “Work on the terminal is well under way; the first new pier opened in April 2019
“The second phase – the extension of the terminal – will open in 2020, at which point the existing T2 building will close for two years of refurbishment. The complete new T2 will be unveiled in 2022 and it will be my job and that of our aviation development manager, Jonathan Keenan, to fill it,” Carr quips. This will obviously involve growth with existing customer carriers as well as attracting brand-new airline business.
Already this year existing customers have been basing more aircraft at Manchester. Compared with the 2018 summer season, easyJet has added five aircraft, Ryanair three more, Jet2 two more, and TUI and Thomas Cook Airlines each adding one aircraft. “That means all our main base operators have increased capacity this year,” Carr confirms.
New arrivals on the scene in 2019 include El Al with a thrice-weekly direct service to Tel Aviv, Pegasus with daily flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen and Loganair with a six times weekly service to Derry City, Ireland. “Loganair and ourselves therefore link Derry to many long-haul destinations,” Carr points out.
Incumbent airlines with new routes include Virgin Atlantic with a four times weekly service to Los Angeles while Ethiopian Airlines began a new service to Addis Ababa last December.
“Sadly we no longer have Jet Airways and its five times weekly service to Mumbai, which began towards the end of last year. The load factors were very good, up in the nineties,” reports Carr.
“So, India is back on our top strategic markets list, along with China and Thailand. In fact, the top city market to feature on our unserved destination list is Bangkok,” Carr concludes.