Manchester Airport's new Terminal Two welcomes first passengers


  • More than 100 passengers on first flight, a service to Menorca, at 06:30 this (Wednesday) morning
  • Ribbon-cutting event marks end of four-year build programme for new terminal extension
  • Up to 600 passengers will get to experience state-of-the-art facilities today, including three new eateries and two exclusive lounges
  • More airlines to move across throughout the summer as travel restrictions ease further

The first passengers travelled through Manchester’s Airport’s new terminal extension this morning, marking a major milestone in the Northern gateway’s 83-year history.

A flight to Menorca was the first to take-off from the expanded Terminal Two, which is the centrepiece of the hub’s £1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).

Work started on the transformation in 2017 and – despite a delay of more than one year to the opening as a result of the pandemic – the facility was officially opened by Manchester Airport’s Managing Director Karen Smart and’s General Manager at Manchester Airport, Marc Burns, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

Passengers then had their first opportunity to sample the new terminal’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a worker bee inspired honeycomb lighting feature and a giant media wall.

A range of new shops, cafes, bars and restaurants also opened their doors today, with more to open throughout the week as passenger numbers increase.

In true Manchester Airport style passengers were treated to a range of entertainment from local bands and a DJ. Plus, a prize draw giveaway for flights and 1903 Lounge passes.

The first passengers through the doors going to Menorca were the Thompson family from Preston, Lancashire. It consisted of mum Emma Thompson, dad Gary Thompson and children Brad, Ben and Lenny.

Gary Thompson commented on being the first passengers through: “It was a big surprise to be the first passengers in Manchester Airport’s new Terminal Two. It looks very posh, lovely and modern. We only travel once a year and have been through all the other terminals, but this new one is definitely better than anything we’ve seen before.”

Two further flights will depart from the terminal today, and from tomorrow, TUI passengers will join them. It is hoped that further airlines will transition to operating from the new terminal in the coming weeks as demand for travel increases, with a government announcement due tomorrow on its traffic light lists for travel.

Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said:

“This is a hugely significant milestone for our airport, our city, the North as a whole and the wider recovery of the travel industry.

“After a hugely challenging 16 months, we are delighted to be delivering some positive news and welcoming the first passengers into our new terminal extension.

“When we first announced our £1bn transformation programme in 2015, we set out a vision to create state-of-the-art facilities that provided a first-class customer experience and cemented our role as the UK’s global gateway in the North.

“It is clear to see that vision has been realised and I would like to thank all our colleagues and partners who have worked on the project since the start.

“The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped. However, as Government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened-up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from Terminal Two.”

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays, said:

“The new terminal extension at Manchester Airport is fantastic news for our customers, and we are delighted to be the first airline to take off from the expanded terminal this morning. From today all of our flights will depart and arrive from the expanded Terminal Two, with the exception of arrivals from Jersey. This means all and Jet2holidays customers get to enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities before jetting away on their much-needed flights and holidays. With travel restrictions easing, we have a wide choice of quarantine free destinations on sale from Manchester Airport this summer, and the demand for our flights and holidays means lots of customers will be enjoying the new terminal extension this summer and beyond.”

The expanded terminal’s light, bright and airy check-in hall sets the tone for the passenger experience, with a modern security area equipped with the latest technology, and a departure lounge packed with iconic features including a honeycomb light installation and a new 81 square metre digital screen.

A wide range of new shops, bars, cafes and restaurants will feature in the new terminal, with local brands Archie’s, The Bridgewater Exchange by Joseph Holt and Pot, Kettle, Black open initially, in addition to two new, exclusive passenger lounges.

Construction firm Laing O’Rourke has spearheaded the programme of works, supported by partners including architects Pascall + Watson, design consultancy Arcadis and airfield works contractor Galliford Try.

Together with several dozen partners, in fields as varied as IT and Catering, they have successfully delivered the megaproject to specification.

More than 8,000 tonnes of steel have been used to create the new terminal extension, which is 81,000 square metres. It is large enough to accommodate Manchester United’s Old Trafford pitch 11 times over, with room to spare.

Benefits to the wider region have included the creation of more than 1,500 jobs in the construction phase alone, including more than 150 apprenticeships giving young people an opportunity to take their first steps on the career ladder.

To find out more about the new Terminal Two – including the range of eateries available – visit .

Links to download additional images:

Link to download flythrough and build videos:

Fast Facts

  • Three departures and three arrivals today
  • Up to 600 passengers will get to experience the new facilities today
  • Three new eateries will open from today with more than a dozen others to come as passenger numbers increase
  • More than 140 businesses, large and small, have contributed to building the extension
  • The construction has provided 1,500 jobs, including more than 150 apprentice opportunities
  • More than 8,000 tonnes of steel have been used to create the extension, which covers 81,000 square metres – large enough to accommodate Manchester United’s Old Trafford pitch 11 times over, with room to spare

Supportive Quotes:

Mike Kane, MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, said: “It is fantastic to see Manchester Airport finally be able to open their new Terminal this week. I visited the terminal last year before the devastation of the Covid 19 pandemic and was really impressed with the project and it's offering for travellers. I can't wait until people are able to travel safely and freely and the terminal is able to open fully. All the hard work that has gone into reaching this milestone is to be commended, as is the ongoing work taken by staff at Manchester Airport to make it covid secure. It's really great to see the green shoots of recovery coming out of my own constituency here in Wythenshawe and Sale East. Congratulations Manchester Airport."

Paul Waters, Head of International Trade at the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to hear the news of the opening of the new terminal extensions at Manchester Airport, this gives the opportunity for travellers from our region an opportunity to experience the excellent new facilities on offer at the start of their journey”

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “Today’s opening of the extended Terminal Two is great news for the millions of people across the North of England who need and rely on the Northern hub as we emerge from the pandemic. The state-of-the-art facilities it will provide will further cement its position as the global gateway for the entire North. Furthermore, it marks the start of the road to recovery for the aviation sector that has been so badly impacted during the last 15 months. A globally connected North is key as we look to build on our existing economic and socio-cultural ties with countries such as the US and China, opening up investment opportunities for businesses across the Northern Powerhouse.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director at Marketing Manchester, said: “There’s no denying that the last 18 months has been brutal to the travel industry and Manchester Airport has had to bear the brunt of it in ways that were unimaginable two years ago when passenger numbers were at record levels and growing. The new terminal opening at this very moment is therefore a poignant statement of confidence – in the travel industry, in our international markets and connectivity, and in the ambition for Greater Manchester to lead the way toward recovery post-pandemic. It represents a game-changing moment for Manchester Airport as well as the thousands of businesses across the whole of the north of England that will prosper from its success, and we look forward to working closely in partnership with the MAG team to maximise opportunities in the coming months and years.”

Rachel McQueen, CEO of Marketing Lancashire said: "This is very positive and timely news for the tourism sector, as we start to plan for the day we can welcome more visitors back to our shores through the brand new Terminal 2 facilities. The county's easy access to Manchester Airport and the city attractions of Manchester and Liverpool, allow business-travellers the option of combining their trip with a rural Lancashire experience, and leisure visitors the chance to enjoy a renowned northern welcome, as they explore the rich cultural diversity of our cities, coast and countryside. We look forward to working with Manchester Airport to maximise and sustain the impact of £1bn investment to present a world class terminal for tourists"

Paul Stowers, Head North West at Department for International Trade said: “It’s wonderful to see T2 open. This is a great asset for Northern businesses, who’ve adapted well during the pandemic, but will be delighted to have the option for real travel again when they are chasing those huge global export and investment opportunities.”

Chris Fletcher, Marketing and Campaigns Director at Greater Manchester Chamber said: “This is great news coming at a time when the aviation sector has been struggling with the impact of Covid. With the economy now re-opening and plans in place to further relax restrictions, to have this fantastic new facility open and ready for business is not only perfect timing for passengers and indeed the airport itself but the wider economy too. Manchester Airport is the main international gateway for the North of England and having T2 open and better than ever will help make sure that whether it’s for business or tourism passengers using the airport have a great experience.”


Notes to editors:

The Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (‘MAN-TP’) is a £1bn project that will modernise and transform the passenger experience on offer at the North’s intercontinental hub.

Work on the project began in July 2017 and has been spearheaded by construction firm Laing O’Rourke, supported by partners including architects Pascall + Watson, design consultancy Arcadis and airfield works contractor Galliford Try.

In addition to creating a state-of-the-art Terminal Two, which will become the airport’s main centre of gravity, the project will also see the introduction of new and enlarged airside transfer facilities, including direct linkage between Terminals 2 and 3, as well as a reconfiguration of the airfield to increase capacity