MAG celebrates successful first year of Stansted ownership

MAG celebrates successful first year of Stansted ownershipBy Lee Hayhurst

Manchester Airports Group has marked the first anniversary of its £1.5bn acquisition of Stansted Airport by highlighting its achievements in the last 12 months.The airport operator has initiated a £260 million investment programme at the airport including £80 million earmarked for terminal upgrades to improve the passenger experience.

MAG said passenger growth has returned to the airport for the first time since 2007 and says further growth is expected as the second year of ownership starts.

The operator said the other key landmarks in the first year include:

  • agreeing long-term growth deals with Ryanair, easyJet and Thomas Cook;
  • attracting new airlines: Air Moldova, Atlantic Airways, Loganair, Aegean, and Transaero;
  • returning the airport to growth for first time since 2007;
  • securing a CAA agreement to free Stansted from economic regulation;
  • gaining corporate business support for direct long-haul services.

Andrew Harrison, Stansted’s managing director, said: “This has been a fantastically exciting and fast-moving year at Stansted when you consider what we’ve achieved in just 12 months.

“It’s been challenging at times but we all should be proud of what we have done in a short space of time.

“We have signed long-term deals with airlines that will add an extra 11 million passengers over the next decade and our regulator has agreed to free us from price controls so we can get on with building long-term commercial partnerships with airlines – something that will be great for passengers.

“To top it all off, we have started to see positive results with passenger numbers on the increase for the first time since 2007.

“In the midst of these achievements, I’ve been continually impressed by the dedication and commitment of our people, the level of support from on-airport partners and the business community, and above all the enthusiasm for change at Stansted.

“In particular, we’ve been really encouraged by the support from businesses across the east of England and London for our campaign to attract long-haul carriers to Stansted.

“Stansted has a very bright future and great potential and we will build on the success of the first year. Securing new long-haul and full service airlines is vitally important, as is the case for investment to improve rail links that will underpin our drive for growth by bringing Stansted closer to London. The airport can then play its full part in meeting demand for air travel over the next 10 to 15 years.

“Stansted has entered a new era and our determination to improve customer service and offer great value has already been recognised as we compete for passengers and airlines. The second year for Stansted as part of MAG promises to be just as positive and rewarding.”

Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said: “We’d like to wish MAG a happy anniversary and congratulate them on a successful first year at Stansted Airport.

“EasyJet flies just under three million passengers to and from the airport each year and we fully support the initiatives that are being put in place to deliver real improvements for our passengers.

“We look forward to working with the Stansted team in the year to come and beyond.”   Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary added: “As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair is pleased to be starting 13 new Europe routes from Stansted this summer as well as increased frequencies on 26 existing routes, following the agreement of a 10-year growth deal.

“In 2014, we will deliver over 1,300,000 additional passengers, which will sustain over 1,300 new “on-site” jobs at Stansted Airport. Ryanair looks forward to further traffic, route and job growth at Stansted in the years to come.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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