Record-breaking Numbers for Manchester Airport

As winter sets in, Manchester Airport hits new highs with over 19.93 million people flying through the Northern hub this year.

For the first time ever, more than 100,000 passengers a day passed through each day in August. It also recorded the busiest day in its 81-year history, as 115,212 people flew through the airport on Friday 23rd August.

With the extra passengers, the airport’s two runways were busy with 132,993 flights during that time, an average of 624 per day.

Read Now: Festive cheer at Manchester Airport with over 1.2m passengers expected during Christmas period(Opens in a new browser tab)

With the summer season over, as it is recorded by the aviation industry (April-October), Manchester Airport is looking back at how each element of its operation performed.


Manchester Airport commits that 92% of passengers will reach the security lane within 15 minutes of joining the queue. The airport has hit this target for the last 12 months. The table shows the average queue times that passengers experienced across the airport’s three terminals. Terminal One has two security areas – A and B.

The table below shows that over the summer season nearly 50% of all passengers travelling through the airport waited less than one minute to reach the security lanes. Whilst the percentage of passengers who waited less than 15 minutes was above target each month.


Returning back into the UK, passengers are required to present themselves at the border, either at an e-gate or a desk, to allow for immigration and custom checks to take place.

This area is looked after by the UK Border Force, who are set targets by Government for how long it will take passengers to get through passport control. They say it should take no longer than 25mins for an EU passenger and no longer 45mins for a non-EU passenger.

They report their performance on annual basis.


Baggage is the responsibility of each airline’s contracted handling agent. Performance has improved this financial year to date with 90% of bags delivered on time. That is up 6% compared to the same period last year. Extra resilience was provided by the airport this year after problems last summer with a new dedicated team on hand to step in and help any handler in the event of any problems.

Targets for when the last bag should arrive on the carousel depend on the size of the aircraft.

  • Category A aircraft (350 seats or more) – last bag delivered within 50 minutes
  • Category B aircraft (180-349 seats) – last bag delivered within 40 minutes
  • Category C aircraft (85-179 seats) – last bag delivered within 30 minutes
  • Category D aircraft (Up to 84 seats) – last bag delivered within 25 minutes

On time performance

This is based on aircraft arriving and departing within 15 minutes of their scheduled times. On time performance can be affected by a variety of issues including European air traffic strikes, slot delays, weather issues and technical issues with aircraft

Departure on time performance improved by 2% year on year to 71% despite issues on the European network. Arrival on time performance also improved, up 4% to 73%.

Airport news

The performance this summer comes on the back of the opening of the first stage of the airport’s £1bn transformation programme. In April the first passenger pier and multi-storey car park opened. The terminal extension is set to open next year

Read Now: Manchester Airport reveals progress made on £1bn transformation programme(Opens in a new browser tab)

This summer the airport welcomed back El Al who now operate direct flights to Tel Aviv, whilst Virgin Atlantic launched services to Los Angeles. There was also growth from the likes of Ryanair, easyJet, Jet2.com and Thomas Cook and TUI.

Looking ahead, Biman Bangladesh Airlines has announced it will launch services to Sylhet and Dhaka from January whilst airBaltic will be launching flights to Riga from March 2020. The Chinese carrier, Juneyao Airlines, has also announced that it will commence flights to Shanghai in March.

Brad Miller, Chief Operating Officer at Manchester Airport, said: “It’s been a busy, successful summer for the airport as we’ve continued to grow. I’m particularly pleased that all our preparation for summer has meant our passengers have had a better experience than last year and the operation has coped well with the increased demand.

“We also saw the first phase of our £1bn transformation programme open at the start of summer and more will come online in 2020. As we continue to grow the region benefits from the extra connectivity and trade opportunities that arise, inbound tourism and the 10 Greater Manchester council also see additional dividends.”

Words by admin

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter