September sun-seekers gave a boost to Manchester Airport

A line of aircraft parked at Manchester Airport.
Photo Credit: Manchester Airport

Late-summer sun-seekers have propelled Manchester Airport to a successful September, as millions of passengers embarked on journeys to warmer destinations.

Across the month, it was Palma de Mallorca – which has consistently led the way over the entire summer – which saw 110,000 passengers head for the sunshine.

The September Numbers

September 2023 marked a significant milestone for Manchester Airport, with over 2.8 million passengers traveling through its terminals.

This substantial increase from September 2022, when 2.5 million passengers passed through, reflects a promising recovery. Even more impressive, the numbers reached a remarkable 96% of the pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

The Departures terminal at Manchester Airport
Photo Credit: Manchester Airport.

Palma de Mallorca: The Leading Destination

Unsurprisingly, the leading destination for September travelers was Palma de Mallorca, Spain. This charming Balearic island captured the hearts of 110,000 passengers, reaffirming its status as a favorite summer hotspot.


While Palma de Mallorca claimed the top spot, Turkey emerged as the most popular country for travelers. A staggering 175,000 passengers flocked to the Turkish airports in Dalaman and Antalya.

These coastal Mediterranean gems secured the second and third positions among the top destinations, showcasing Turkey’s enduring allure.

Short Hops and Perennial Favorites

In addition to the sunny Mediterranean destinations, many travelers opted for short hops to places like Dublin and Amsterdam.

Meanwhile, perennial favorites like Alicante and Malaga retained their spots in the top 10, demonstrating their timeless appeal.

Photo Credit: Manchester Airport
Photo Credit: Manchester Airport

Long-Haul to Dubai

For those with a thirst for long-haul adventures, Dubai emerged as the leading destination, with 82,000 passengers venturing to the Middle Eastern hub.

Dubai’s unique blend of tradition and modernity continues to captivate travelers from Manchester.

The Allure of September

September’s allure as a ‘shoulder month’ in the travel industry comes as no surprise. This term signifies the period following the peak summer season, where prices start to drop, but temperatures in popular destinations remain inviting.

It’s typically seen as the perfect time to escape the crowds and savor the last rays of summer.

Travelers passing through Manchester Airport in September were clearly treated to exceptional service. A staggering 99% of passengers breezed through security in under 15 minutes, allowing them to fully enjoy the diverse range of bars, restaurants, shops, and more within the airport’s terminals.

Chris Woodroofe Comments

Chris Woodroofe, the Managing Director of Manchester Airport, encapsulated the airport’s mission succinctly: “We’re here to serve the people of the North, getting them to the places they want to go with a route network unrivaled by any airport outside London.”

“At Manchester Airport, we want people to feel their holidays start as soon as they set foot inside the terminal,” he stated.

With a focus on the future, Manchester Airport is gearing up to welcome travelers during the October half term and the forthcoming ski season and Christmas holidays.

Simultaneously, a £1.3 billion transformation project is underway, promising an even better experience for passengers.

The September Summary

For those curious about the most-loved destinations from Manchester Airport in September, here is a quick recap:

  1. Palma de Mallorca (Spain) – 110,188 passengers
  2. Dalaman (Turkey) – 89,466
  3. Antalya (Turkey) – 88,497
  4. Amsterdam (Netherlands) – 85,667
  5. Alicante (Spain) – 82,848
  6. Dubai (UAE) – 82,114
  7. Tenerife (Spain) – 80,642
  8. Dublin (Ireland) – 72,484
  9. Faro (Portugal) – 63,034
  10. Malaga (Spain) – 59,966

European Football Returns

In addition to sun-seekers, September welcomed the return of European football.

Manchester Airport’s extensive route network has been a gateway for fans of prominent football clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Aston Villa.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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