Manchester International Airport
Manchester International Airport in Manchester, England, is the third busiest airport in the UK and one of the 25 busiest in Europe. The hudge demand in both passenger numbers and flights necessitate one of the largest Bristish airport layouts with three passenger terminals and two 10,000-foot runways.
Officially opened in 1937 as Ringway Airport, Manchester International Airport has had a long and prestigious life at the center of British aircraft operations. During World War II, the airport was the site of manufacturing and training for the Royal Air Force. Meanwhile, the post-war years saw the gradual expansion of the airport and a continued growth in passenger numbers.
Despite the protests that accompanied the building of the airport’s second runway, preparation for expected future growth necessitated that various plans for future airport expansion be drawn up. The results of these plans have been partially implemented, including a number of security refurbishments to each of the terminals.
Future plans include new terminal layouts and extensions, better terminal-to-terminal connections, as well as new and larger housing and accommodations for next-generation aircraft. Additionally, Manchester International has positioned itself to create expanded business opportunities for the city of Manchester, including the building of a World Logistics Hub for cargo and goods.
Manchester International Airport offers a number of facilities and amenities designed to relieve the stress of the millions that pass through the Terminals every year. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available in all Terminals and a number of business amenities include express check-in, chauffeur services, and the recent addition of state-of-the-art conference facilities.
Whether traveling for business or pleasure, Manchester International Airport also offers a number of lounges that can be pre-booked and offer a great number of specialized services including food and drink. An on-site spa is a great place to relax after a stressful business trip, and international travelers can take advantage of a revitalizing shower facility in Terminal 2.
The 24-hour international nature of Manchester Airport means special respect has been paid to the spiritual needs of its visitors. Two multi-faith prayer rooms, an airport chaplaincy, and special washing facilities are all available at the airport.
In an effort to make travel as comfortable as possible for all passengers, special care has been taken to look after guests with reduced mobility and those with babies and children. For disabled persons, the airport offers preferred parking and special assistance that can be booked in advance. Passengers flying with children can also look forward to a number of designated play areas, plane watching areas, and special assistance for children with autism.
Manchester Airport Transportation
There are currently a number of ways to access Manchester International Airport, including service via Northern Rail or TransPennine Express. Routed through Manchester Airport Railway Station, which opened in 1993, the airport is connected to both Manchester and railway stations as far away as Edinburgh.
In addition to the 300 trains that run through the station, 100 coaches and 500 buses also use the facility every day. These coaches and buses cover a number of service locations throughout England.
Other ways of accessing the airport include a Manchester Metrolink tram station that is expected to open in 2016, and various roads for private cars, rental cars, and taxis. The numerous local roads and motorways are supplemented by the main M56 motorway which has a dedicated access road.
Taxis are available at all terminals, and parking is available at several multi-storey car parks, off-site JetParks, and another Shuttle Park for long stay guest parking. In line with England’s focus on Green alternatives, there are three bicycle bays also available at Manchester Airport.
Airlines Serving Manchester Airport
Manchester International Airport is served by more than 20 total airline companies. Being the third busiest airport in the United Kingdom, it’s quite natural that Manchester Airport is also home to some of the biggest British airline companies.
Operating in Terminal 2, Thomson Airways takes the role of being the busiest airline at Manchester Airport. Being the largest charter airline in the world, Thomson Airways links the city of Manchester with dozens of world famous resort destinations in multiple parts of the globe. However, about half of all flights are only available during some seasons such as the summer and the holidays. The Canary Islands and Balearic Islands are some of the most visited Spanish territories that are accessible through this major charter carrier.
Malta and Rhodes are some of the spectacular islands in the Mediterranean Sea that can be reached through Thomson Airways. Egyptian resort hot spots such as Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada on the Red Sea can also be enjoyed thanks to Britain’s busy charter airline. Thomson Airways even operates long haul flights to the Caribbean and the Americas. Barbados, Cancun, Montego Bay, and Orlando are listed on this airline’s timetables at Manchester Airport.
If the world’s biggest charter airline doesn’t offer enough service at Manchester Airport, then passengers can look for alternative routes provided by another major domestic charter airline. Based in Terminal 1, Thomas Cook Airlines links Manchester with more than 30 total destinations. In fact, many of the Thomas Cook Airlines resort destinations are the same as those offered by Thomson Airways.
Monarch offers additional charter service at Manchester Airport. This medium size airline is based in the town of Luton near London and specializes in seasonal flights to vacation hot spots. The diverse schedule of Monarch includes continental European cities such as Antalya, Alicante, Grenoble, Geneva, Malaga, Dubrovnik, Venice, and Verona. Of course, no charter service is complete without direct trips to islands in the Mediterranean region. That’s why Monarch also connects Manchester with several islands in Spanish and Greek territory.
Flybe is another major British airline serving Manchester Airport. This low-cost airline links Manchester with several cities in the U.K. including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich, and Southampton. Isle of Man and Jersey are popular British vacation spots that can be reached via Flybe, which operates in Terminal 3.
Based in Terminal 3, British Airways offers limited service in Manchester Airport. The flag carrier of the United Kingdom operates direct flights to Heathrow Airport in London. Interestingly, British Airways also offers regional service to several destinations in Sweden such as Gothenburg.