Manchester Airport Managing Director Resigns After Weeks of Disruption

Photo: Manchester Airport.

LONDON – Manchester Airport’s Managing Director, Karen Smart, has resigned after weeks of disruption and travel chaos out of the airport.

Smart has been in the role for the last two years, with MAG citing this to family reasons, but of course, has come coincidentally come at the same time as the chaos.

Cornish Cites Family Reasons…


MAG CEO Charlie Cornish commented on the departure:

“Over the last two years, Karen has guided Manchester Airport through the most challenging period of its 84-year history, having made a major contribution to MAG throughout her time with the business.

“I am sorry to lose Karen after her years of valuable service, but also understand her desire to return to the South for family reasons and indeed to explore new career opportunities.

“While there are sure to be further challenges ahead, I am confident we will soon start to see the benefits of the recovery plans Karen has helped put in place and look forward to working with Ian and his leadership team to drive them forward.”

It is understood that Ian Costigan is due to take over the role as interim Managing Director.

Chaos Has Ensued At Manchester Airport…


Manchester Airport has been struggling with long queues and carnage for the last couple of weeks, with no solution in sight at present.

MAG had to make redundancies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the telltale sign now is that the group hasn’t made enough hires to cope with the influx of demand ahead of the Summer 2022 season.

It is unclear when MAG aims to solve this, but Manchester isn’t the only airport around the country that has been suffering the same.

In a statement via Twitter, the airport said:

“As we continue to recover from the pandemic and passenger numbers grow, security queues may be longer than usual at times.”

“If you’re due to travel in the next few weeks, please arrive at the earliest time your airline allows. We apologize to our customers for the disruption.”

Costigan Has Work to Do…


It remains clear that Costigan, Smart’s replacement, has a lot of work to do whilst in his role as the interim Managing Director.

For him to have any chance of remaining permanently in the role, his priority needs to be sorting out this chaos and getting enough security staff and other general staff into the business to solve this crisis.

It also appears clear that there is no short-term solution and that we may not see the fixes working until after the Summer schedule as the chaos has gone to an unsustainable point.

For now, all we can do is sit back and watch what ideas he may have up his sleeve to sort this crisis out.

About the author

James Field

James is a passionate AvGeek based in Manchester, U.K who has been actively spotting for years. James is the Editor-in-Chief for the company.

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