MAG growth continues into the autumn

  • Manchester and London Stansted airports continue to grow, despite the impact of Monarch ceasing operations and Ryanair’s cancellation of some services
  • Host of new destinations announced at London Stansted as it surpasses 100 million passengers under MAG ownership
  • Manchester Airport marks first year since Houston route launch




London Stansted

East Midlands



Rolling 12 month total






October 2017 total






October 2017

% change

year on year









London Stansted

East Midlands

October 2017 tonnes




% change

year on year




MAG airports experienced growing passenger numbers in October, as a busy summer season came to an end and the Half Term getaway really took off. Across the four airports in the Group nearly 5% more passengers flew than in the same month last year. The growth was driven by the increasing popularity of the Half Term getaway up and down the country.

In October, Manchester Airport, one of only two airports in the UK with two runways, grew 3.1% year on year to handle 2.4 million passengers. October also marked the anniversary of Singapore Airlines’ direct connection to Houston. In the last 12 months the route has seen one marriage proposal, more than 5,500 bottles of champagne consumed and more than 10,000 litres of ice cream served. It makes Manchester the only UK airport outside of London with a direct route to the Texan city.

Passenger growth at Manchester in October was affected by Monarch ceasing trading, with year-on-year growth down from 7.4% in September. Monarch had accounted for 5.4% of flights from Manchester in September, averaging 250 flights per week. MAG has seen strong interest from airlines to take over the slots operated previously by Monarch so they can operate new services at Manchester next year.

London Stansted Airport served more passengers in October than ever before, with numbers increasing by 7.3% on the year before to 2.3m passengers and came despite Ryanair‘s cancellation of some services. The airport has now seen over 100 million passengers use the airport since it was acquired by MAG in 2013. In the last month the airport has announced a host of new destinations and airlines to add to its 190-strong route network including Primera Air flying three times a week to Toronto from April 2018, Air Corsica and Mediterranean Air launching brand new services to the UK and WOW air adding a connection to New York JFK. Ryanair and Jet2.com also announced new services for summer and winter seasons next year.

Martin Jones, Commercial Director, London Stansted Airport
“Since MAG acquired London Stansted in 2013, we have now welcomed over 100 million passengers, a fantastic achievement and a clear reflection of the demand that exists across our region for convenient and affordable flight options."
Martin Jones, Commercial Director, London Stansted Airport

East Midlands Airport recorded its busiest October in ten years with numbers growing by 3.5% to nearly 480,000. Popular destinations included Amsterdam, the Balearics and Cancun in Mexico. Bournemouth Airport’s traffic stayed flat at 69,000 passengers.

London Stansted’s Commercial Director, Martin Jones, said: "October this year was the busiest on record for the month with demand boosted by a strong performance during the final weeks of the summer schedule and an increase in the number of people heading overseas for half-term.

“Since MAG acquired the airport in 2013, we have now welcomed over 100 million passengers, a fantastic achievement and a clear reflection of the demand that exists across our region for convenient and affordable flight options and the growing choice of destinations on offer at Stansted.

“In the past few weeks we have seen a host of new route announcements and launches, including a third transatlantic route from Primera Air to Toronto and WOW air adding a connection to New York JFK plus new services from Air Corsica, Mediterranean Air, Ryanair announcing its reinstating its Belfast service and moving it to Stansted in addition to, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays confirming it will operate an expanded winter programme from Stansted in 2018/19.

“Looking to the future, we expect to see continued strong growth at Stansted as we increase the number of airlines and destinations we serve.”

In cargo, East Midlands Airport, the country’s largest airport for freighter aircraft, grew 8.6% year on year while Manchester and London Stansted grew 3.6% and 3% respectively.