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Manchester Airport welcomes 21 million passengers for first time in six years

Dr Rachel Brown with Martin Friend, of Singapore Airlines, and Manchester Airport's Nicola McMullen. Credit: Manchester Airport Group.

Manchester Airport, the UK’s third busiest airport, has hit the 21 million passenger mark for the first time since 2008.

The 21-millionth passenger was Singapore Airlines’ customer Dr Rachel Brown, from Warrington, who received several prizes when she arrived for her flight to Asia.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be Manchester Airport’s 21 millionth passenger and what an incredible start to my trip.”

Dr Brown was treated to an upgrade to business class and lounge access within an exclusively sectioned off area.

Busy times at Manchester Airport. Credit: PA

Ken O’Toole, Chief Commercial Officer of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: “Manchester airport is the Northern Gateway, providing global connectivity through our unrivalled network of short and long haul destinations.

"We continue to grow thanks to the strength of our catchment, the support of our airline partners and the continued hard work and dedication of all MAG colleagues.”

Over 9.3m passengers set to use the airport over the coming months as the busy summer season gets under way.

Air traffic controllers at work in Manchester Airport's tower. Credit: PA

Convicted sex offender given job at Manchester Airport

James Burns Credit: MEN Syndication

A convicted sex offender was given a job at Manchester Airport frisking passengers - despite facing fresh allegations of abusing a teenage boy.

The Manchester Evening News reports James Burns, 56, was employed as an aviation security officer and passed a criminal record and counter terrorism check.

The checks failed to highlight his convictions for historic sex assaults because the Police National Computer at that time did not include all offences from the 70s and 80s.

The newspaper reports Burns, from Bolton, was suspended on full pay despite this week being given a nine month sentence suspended for two years, a 12-month supervision order, made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, and placed on the sexual offenders register for ten years.

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Record numbers expected at Manchester Airport

With thousands heading off to the sun this weekend, Manchester Airport is preparing for what could be its busiest Easter ever.

Arrivals and departures are expected to exceed 200 thousand.

And 68 new security staff have been taken on just for the holiday period.

Spokeswoman Tricia Williams said people should allow plenty of time for checking in and boarding.

Thousands head out for the great Easter getaway

Traffic jam ahead of the Easter break Credit: PA

A poll from VisitEngland showed that around 3.4 million Britons are set to take an Easter break in the UK involving at least one overnight stay, providing an £800 million boost for the UK economy.

Around 6.5 million Britons are planning day trips over the holiday period, with a further 9% undecided whether to have a break involving an overnight stay, the survey revealed.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: "The industry has rallied following the severe weather earlier this year. It's business as usual for tourism with a full line-up of events and offers across the country, and destinations ready and waiting to welcome visitors this Easter break."

An estimated 1.6 million Britons are heading abroad for the holiday. Over the Easter weekend, 110,000 passengers will leave from Manchester Airport.

Popular foreign spots for those going overseas include Spain and its islands, Turkey, Tunisia and Florida, according to UK travel organisation Abta. Top city destinations are Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, Rome and New York, while bookings for UK breaks are described by Abta as "healthy".

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New route to Hong Kong announced from Manchester Airport

The service will be operated by Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Credit: Manchester Airport

A new flight between Hong Kong and Manchester Airport has been announced. The four-times-weekly service will start on 8 December 2014.

It's hoped the service will help strengthen business links between the North West and China.

Manchester Airport Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Man charged with smuggling heroin into Manchester Airport

A man has been charged with drug smuggling after Border Force officers at Manchester Airport seized heroin worth an estimated £280,000.

Muhammad Ashfaq, 42, appeared before Trafford Magistrates on Monday 10 February, charged with the importation of a Class A drug.

He was remanded in custody to appear at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on 3 March, 2014.

The discovery was made on Friday 7 February as officers inspected a mishandled bag that should have arrived the previous day on a flight from Islamabad.

Saudi Airlines return to Manchester with Jeddah route

Saudi Airlines, the national carrier for Saudi Arabia, has announced a return to Manchester Airport with a direct route between Manchester and Jeddah starting in March.

The airline last operated from Manchester in 2007 and Manchester Airport say the new Jeddah route is expected to attract a range of leisure and business passengers.

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