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Stansted Airport Marks A Successful First Year Under New Ownership

28 Feb 2014

Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G) is today celebrating the first anniversary of its £1.5bn acquisition of Stansted Airport, which has opened up an exciting new chapter in the airport’s history.

In the first 12 months of new ownership, Stansted has already notched-up some big achievements, including:

  • launching a £260 million investment programme to improve the passenger experience;
  • agreeing long term growth deals with Ryanair, easyJet and Thomas Cook;
  • attracting new airlines: Air Moldova, Atlantic Airways, Loganair, Aegean, Transaero;
  • returning the airport to growth for first time since 2007;
  • securing CAA agreement to free Stansted from economic regulation;
  • gaining corporate business support for direct long-haul services.

Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’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.

"In M.A.G ownership we’ve launched a £260million investment programme which includes an £80 million terminal transformation project to improve the passenger experience. 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 M.A.G promises to be just as positive and rewarding."

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:

"As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair is pleased to be starting 13 new Europe routes from Stansted this summer to Athens, Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek, Podgorica, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea, as well as increased frequencies on 26 existing routes, following the agreement of a 10 year growth deal with Stansted’s new owners M.A.G. 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."

Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said:

"We’d like to wish M.A.G a Happy Anniversary and congratulate them on a successful first year at Stansted Airport. easyJet flies just under 3 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."

Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Member of Parliament for Saffron Walden, said:

"I am pleased to acknowledge M.A.G.'s first year in charge at Stansted. Already it is clear that improvements are being made to enhance passenger experience in the Terminal. M.A.G. is happily a more responsive owner than its predecessor."

Greg Clark, Chairman of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium, said:

"Under the new ownership of M.A.G, Stansted Airport has gone through some impressive changes over the last 12 months. Its ambitious £80 million terminal transformation project and drive to attract new airlines will no doubt increase competition and offer exciting opportunities for companies in one of the UK’s strongest and dynamic economies.

"A growing Stansted, with additional long-haul routes and other services for business travellers, would greatly enhance inward investment and trade and help support the unprecedented growth over the next decade of hi-tech and internationally trading firms along the London –Stansted-Cambridge corridor."

More than 200 invited guests ranging from MPs, regional business leaders to representatives from councils, airlines and transport operators gathered at Duxford Imperial War Museum near Cambridge on Thursday, February 27, to mark the airport’s first anniversary under new ownership.