The launch of the North’s first ever flight service to mainland China has helped drive annual passenger numbers at Manchester Airport over the 24 million mark for the first time in its 78-year history.
June saw 2,520,036 passengers fly through the gateway, which is a 9.22% increase on the same month last year.
That brings the moving annual total for Manchester Airport to 24,095,206.
The growth seen in June has been attributed in part to Hainan Airlines’ four flights a week to Beijing, which launched on 10th June. The inaugural flights were 90% full and load factors for the summer are currently at more than 80%.
Beijing is one of several new long haul routes launched from Manchester Airport this year. These include Los Angeles and Boston, both of which are proving popular with customers looking to access North America.
Ken O’Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: “It’s been another strong month of growth for Manchester Airport as we edge further into the busy summer season.
“We were incredibly proud to welcome and witness the inaugural flight to Beijing, which makes Manchester the only UK airport outside of London with a direct, scheduled service to mainland China.
“I am sure all of our new services are popular with the 22m people who live within our catchment area, with them also providing a vital economic boost to the region. As the year progresses we look forward to securing more direct routes for passengers across the North.”
As the peak season gets into full swing, the airport saw a 10% increase in aircraft movements, with more than 18,000 planes coming and going from the two full length runways. The amount of freight also increased by 11% with 10,228 tonnes handled in June.