LONDON – As slots for the Summer 2023 season begin to emerge, Manchester Airport looks set to receive some new international carriers next year.
It is key to note before this piece goes any further that the slots are not guaranteed and can change at any point, depending on availability and other external factors.
@SPD_travels on Twitter, who has access to view slot acquisition and booking systems, has noted quite a few new international carriers that could be making an appearance in Manchester next year.
He listed four carriers, which will be quite exciting for the growth of the airport moving forward.
It is key to note that @SPD_Travels has a high accuracy rate when it comes to news like this.
Thai Airways have appeared to place slots in for a Bangkok-Manchester flight, with the airline being rumored for some time now that they would operate into the UK airport.
Equipment of choice would probably be along the lines of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft or Airbus A350-900s that can cover the distance on such a long flight.
This service was supposed to happen and was even semi-announced by Thai Airways before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Now that the worst of the pandemic is behind them, this route will no doubt come to fruition moving forward.
Air India wouldn’t be a surprising move, given the level of success they have had with operations out of Birmingham Airport at present.
With flights to Delhi, Mumbai, and other destinations from the UK, Manchester could be the next step for the Indian carrier, especially as they continue onwards with the expansion of their long-haul fleet.
Equipment of choice for this particular flight (if it is to happen, of course) would be their Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft or their Boeing 777 family aircraft.
Like with Thai, this would be another exciting advancement for Manchester Airport moving forward.
Royal Jordanian coming to Manchester wouldn’t be surprising either, especially with this particular area of the market hotting up from the Middle East.
For example, we have the likes of Qatar Airways, Emirates, Gulf Air, Etihad Airways, and Kuwait Airways operating out of Ringway, so Royal Jordanian could be joining the fun with this market share.
A Manchester-Amman service would work well for either the tourism side of things, as well as for onward transit-based connection to destinations in the Far East and Africa.
Whether this route will come to fruition is unclear due to the high level of Middle-Eastern competition in the airport already.
Finally, @SPD_Travels mentioned that PLAY has put some slot requests in for Manchester, which would see them go head-to-head with competitor Icelandair.
PLAY has only just launched operations out of Liverpool, so to launch a Manchester service would make sense in order to acquire the catchment areas of those who don’t wish to commute to Merseyside for a holiday.
With PLAY aiming for more of the low-cost spectrum, this will no doubt put some pressure on Icelandair and others who operate to Reykjavik, which could spark a fare war as a result.
Either way, this would be another significant addition to the Manchester arsenal.
From the initial slot requests, it does appear to be the case that Manchester Airport could be welcoming a series of new airlines into the region next year.
With the Transformation Programme in full swing, it’s clear that this is attracting new customers to use the airport, and that is what will play well in their favor.
But for now, all we can do is wait for the airlines to make the official announcements, which will no doubt come in the next few months, and see whether they keep to their word on such slots.