Statement from Manchester Airport - Dispatches on Channel 4

A Manchester Airport spokesperson said: “Following the recent episode of Dispatches on Channel 4, we want to reassure passengers due to travel through Manchester Airport this summer.

“The whole aviation industry has faced challenges in recovering from the pandemic, but we have worked hard since the start of the year to prepare for the peak summer season. For our part, we have recruited more than 600 new staff into our security operation and nearly 300 more are due to start work in the weeks ahead.

 “This means we have not had to ask our airlines to cancel large numbers of flights, protecting the holidays of more than 3m people who will travel through Manchester Airport this summer. We are confident that, thanks to the progress we have made, the over-whelming majority will have a positive experience. As an example, in the last week, more than 95% of passengers got through security in under 30 minutes.

 “While there will be moments when we, or our airlines, ground handlers and other partners, continue to face challenges due to our ongoing recovery, it is our view that Dispatches gave an inaccurate impression of the current state of operations and the experience that passengers will receive in the coming weeks.

 “The undercover footage within Swissport’s baggage operation was several weeks old, as were almost all the case studies and mobile phone videos used. Many of the issues highlighted in the programme related to airports other than Manchester. Despite several requests, we were refused a right to reply and not given the opportunity to challenge or factually correct any of the claims made. This prevented us from outlining the improvements made in recent months and risks unnecessarily misleading viewers about what to expect when they travel this summer.

 “We apologise to any customers who have faced disruption during our recovery, and want to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and dedication throughout.”