By Justin Lee (Singapore)
Manchester Airport Group’s (MAG) recovery from the pandemic has been shown in the annual results released by the Group for the year ended 31 March 2022 (FY22).
For the year ended 31 March 2022, the three UK airports in MAG’s portfolio – Manchester, London Stansted as well as East Midlands – served a total of 20.5 million passengers. This was a year-on-year increase by 225% compared to the number of passengers handled in FY21, but still a 65.5% decrease compared to the number of passengers handled in FY20.
In MAG’s Investor Presentation summarizing its performance for FY22, MAG brought to attention the various challenges that had impeded the recovery process at its three airports.
While a successful vaccination program as well as the easing of travel restrictions in the United Kingdom had enabled a recovery of passenger traffic – passenger volumes rose to 58% of pre-pandemic levels in November 2021 – the recovery had been set back by the discovery of the Omnicron variant, which resulted in tighter testing and quarantine restrictions.
Nevertheless, MAG was able to demonstrate the case for removal of the testing and quarantine restrictions, which were lifted in two stages in the final six weeks of FY22. This allowed for rapid return for demand and passenger numbers in March 2022 reached 70% of pre-pandemic levels. By May 2022, MAG revealed that passenger traffic had reach 82% of pre-pandemic, indicating a sustained momentum of the recovery.