Stansted Airport boss confident that passenger numbers will rally
- Credit: Will Durrant
Stansted Airport's boss says he is delighted that travel testing for fully vaccinated passengers is being removed, and is confident that travel figures will rally, despite a December dip in figures.
On Monday (January 24) the Government announced that from February 11, passengers who have had two doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccination will only have to complete a passenger locator form, not take pre and post travel tests.
Non-fully vaccinated passengers will need a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two after arrival in the UK, and to complete a passenger locator form.
Manchester Airport Group CEO Charlie Cornish said: “Now that Omicron testing requirements have been removed, people are clearly excited about where they can travel this year.
“We are confident that the recovery will be strong as we head towards to the summer, and the sharp increase in bookings in recent days is hugely encouraging.
“It is clear that the temporary reintroduction of travel restrictions impacted passenger confidence during December, which came after we had seen a strong revival of passenger volumes up to November.
“We will continue to work closely with the Government on a plan for the full removal of all remaining restrictions and hope to see that set out by the end of the month.”
According to November data, MAG airports - covering London Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands - were serving around 60% of pre-pandemic traffic, with London Stansted recovering at the fastest rate overall.
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However, December 2021 figures show that overall traffic was down compared to December 2019. They believe this was a result of testing requirements in response to the Covid-19 Omicron variant.
At London Stansted airport, numbers were down 54.9%, Manchester was down 53.8% and East Midlands was down 63.0%.
MAG’s rolling 12-month total passenger numbers show that, while the group served 9.1% fewer passenger in 2021 compared to 2020, the three airports saw a much stronger recovery in recent months compared to the same period a year earlier.
The group is now recruiting for hundreds of new roles via virtual jobs fairs.