LONDON – On July 7, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), has released its 2021/22 full-year results as well as provided an update on its summer season preparations.
The 2021/22 FY Results
Between April 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, MAG, which is the owner and operator of the UK airports, Manchester, London Stansted, and East Midlands, saw a total of 20.5 million passengers travel through its three airports, a 225% increase year-on-year.
However, it is one thing to note that for 11 months of the year, Covid travel restrictions were still in place, where those months had passenger volumes only equivalent to 33%.
At Manchester Airport alone, in the last year 9.1 million passengers traveled through the Northern hub, although with this being a 225% increase from 2020, it is still only 38% of what the airport saw pre-pandemic.
Despite the lower levels, Manchester Airport has still celebrated some major milestones, one of which was the opening of its latest Terminal 2 extension as the main goal as part of Manchester Airports’ £1 billion transformation program.
Even though the passenger numbers were up by 225%, MAG still recorded an overall loss of £320 million due to the volumes still not being back at pre-pandemic levels and the ever-increase in operational costs.
This brings their overall Covid losses to a total of £755 million, of which revenues were down by 80% in 2020/21 and down by 48% in 2021/22.
As we now drift into easier times with the pandemic cooling off, the summer season is set to really pick up pace and MAG is expecting this summer season’s passenger volumes to come close to pre-pandemic levels, which should mean that the group may see an operating profit this year.
This year still has its challenges however, one of the main issues facing many airports worldwide right now is staff shortages, which is meaning many major airports are struggling to cope with the rapidly growing demand.
MAG has hired over 1,500 new team members since January 2022, but this is still not enough for the incoming demand ramp-up, and hiring staff is a tiresome and lengthy process, which is adding even more pressure onto the airports that are aiming to make passengers’ journeys more reliable.
MAG Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Charlie Cornish, has said in the group’s latest announcement, “With travel restrictions in place for nearly all of the last 12 months, it was another uncertain and unpredictable year for MAG and the wider aviation industry.”
“After tentative steps towards recovery last autumn, the emergence of the Omicron variant once again resulted in major barriers for people looking to travel internationally.”
“MAG played an industry-leading role in highlighting the ineffectiveness of international travel testing, which helped pave the way for the removal of travel restrictions in spring this year.”
“Free of those restrictions, we were confident that airlines and passengers would return quickly to our airports.”
“The pace of that recovery has brought its own challenges, and recruitment has taken longer and been more difficult than we anticipated.”
“We’ve now recruited more than 1,500 new staff across MAG since January so that we can give passengers the best possible experience this summer.”
“I am pleased with the number of new colleagues who have chosen to join our airports since January, and I am sure they will all play an important role in our recovery over the coming months and years.”
“With passenger levels across MAG growing quickly back towards what they were before the pandemic, I am confident in the strength of our business and the contribution our airports will once again make for their regions and the whole UK economy.”