A rise in the number of passengers passing through Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports boosted the group’s revenue by more than £60m, according to new figures.
Manchester Airports Group has reported a revenue from continuing operations of £158.7m for the six months to the end of September 2021, up from £93.8m.
The total has been helped by the number of passengers being served by each airport increasing from 4.2 million to 6.6 million.
The new figures have also confirmed the group’s pre-tax losses have been slashed from £236.4m to £148.9m.
Group chief executive Charles Cornish said: “The restrictions on international travel endured throughout the period, despite a staged unlocking of other sections of the domestic economy.
“Given the UK’s successful vaccination programme, it was particularly disappointing that the first six months of the financial year were still significantly behind pre-pandemic financial years.
“While the recovery of UK aviation over the summer was modest, it is important to note that passenger volumes across Europe climbed to approximately 60% of pre-pandemic levels during the same period.
“This performance on the continent, where governments moved more quickly to relax travel restrictions, gave us confidence that latent demand remained for travel and would begin to return once restrictions were eased in the UK.
“In this context, MAG’s focus during the first six months of this year has remained on tight cost controls, building on the work done in this area during FY21.
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“Over the last two weeks, governments across the world have been working to understand the level of threat posed to public health from the new Omicron variant.
“While this research is on-going, governments have reintroduced some travel restrictions on a precautionary basis to limit the spread of the new variant.
“As expected, these new restrictions have impacted demand for international travel.
“In the event the new variant is judged to be no more harmful than other forms of the virus, we would expect governments to remove these additional measures and support the continued recovery of international travel.
“Looking ahead, we are encouraging the UK Government to move quickly to provide clarity on the risk posed by the Omicron variant(and future variants of concern) and ensure that any travel restrictions, both in the UK and overseas, are appropriate and do not unnecessarily limit or undermine confidence in international travel.
“In particular, once community transmission of the new variant has been identified in-country, the justification for international travel controls reduces rapidly and any restrictions should therefore be reviewed urgently.
“Once this immediate uncertainty has been resolved, we will work with the Government to establish a clear roadmap for 2022 including the conditions under which restrictions can be removed completely.
“This will make a major contribution to the restoration of consumer confidence as travellers look to book leisure and business trips from MAG airports heading into the new financial year.”
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