MAG’s December 2022 pax reaches 90% of same month pre-pandemic

By Faye Bartle |

Charlie Cornish, CEO, MAG.

Charlie Cornish, CEO, MAG.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) ended 2022 with a strong passenger performance, serving 3.7 million passengers in December – that’s 90% of the passengers seen in the same month in 2019.

The group’s total passenger numbers for the 2022 calendar year stands at just under 50 million (49,877,895 million, see table below) – more than three times the number reached in 2021.

It’s a solid performance for the group (which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports), driven by a strong recovery in demand for international travel, as covid-19 restrictions were lifted (in March) and the ‘vast majority’ of airlines’ reintroduced their pre-pandemic routes.

Healthy levels of growth were experienced across both short- and long-haul travel, according to MAG.

“It was great to see so many passengers back enjoying air travel again over the Christmas period and our traffic figures for 2022 demonstrate the strong recovery we have seen across all of our airports over the past 12 months,” said MAG CEO Charlie Cornish.

“This reflects our focus on working with our airlines to provide the best possible choice and value to passengers.

“Combined with our investment in service and customer experience, this sets us up well for a positive 2023.”

MAG December 2022 results.

MAG served 3.7 million passengers in December 2022, equivalent to 90% of pre-pandemic levels. Total passenger numbers for the 2022 calendar year stood at just under 50 million. Source: MAG.

The figures, released today, show that London Stansted served 1.8 million passengers in December 2022 – representing 93% of the hub’s pre-pandemic traffic.

READ MORE: MAG reveals management changes at Stansted and East Midlands Airports

East Midlands Airport’s traffic for the month was 75% of pre-pandemic levels, as more than 150,000 passengers passed through its terminal.

Manchester Airport served 1.7 million passengers in December – equivalent to 88% of passengers served in the same month in 2019.

Manchester Airport makes ‘significant progress in recent months’

Manchester Airport’s total passenger numbers for the 2022 calendar year stood at more than 23 million, spurred by an expanded route network.

Reintroduced routes at the northwest England hub included those to Beijing, Toronto and Bangladesh.

New routes were also added, such as to Bahrain and Kuwait.

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport

Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport.

“We have made significant progress in recent months and it was pleasing to see that reflected in our operational statistics for December,” said Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport.

“We are now nearing 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels of traffic, which bodes well for our continued recovery, and alongside that, we have also seen a steady improvement in passenger experience.

“The majority of our guests passed through security in under five minutes last month, which is all the more impressive during the busy Christmas period.

“I’d like to thank colleagues for all of their efforts over 2022 to get us to the position that we are now in, and I am sure we will continue to make further progress in the year ahead.”

Speedy security statistics and revenues revealed

Getting passengers quickly through security was a win at all three hubs.

An impressive 99% of passengers at London Stansted and East Midlands Airports passed through security 15 minutes or less, with the figure for Manchester Airport at 95%.

During industrial action by PCS Union members in late December, Manchester Airport worked closely with partners including UK Border Force to maintain normal service levels for arriving passengers and enable airlines to operate full schedules on strike days.

READ MORE: UK airports respond to Border Force staff Christmas strike action

Further to the above, MAG published its interim financial results for 2022-23 in December, reporting that it had served 30.5 million passengers in the first six months of the year – representing 84% of traffic seen across the same period before the pandemic [in 2019].

The Group recorded an operating profit of £22.8 million, compared with losses of £75.7 million in the equivalent period last year and increased revenues from £158.7 million to £538.8 million.

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