Manchester Airport's new boss vows better days ahead as chaos continue ahead of summer holidays

The new boss at Manchester Airport has said there is no quick fix to the on-going issues there, but he has pledged that things will get better.

The airport has seen problems for months with passengers facing huge queues because of the lack of staff members.

Many workers were let go during the Covid pandemic but a major recruitment drive is underway which has alerady seen hundreds of new starters.

New managing director Chris Woodroofe said customers had suffered a ‘poor’ experience and admitted peak-time queues would continue over the coming months - but vowed to ‘get passengers on their way’ as they head through the holiday season.

He has warned also that passengers will continue to be asked to arrive three hours before their flight for the rest of the summer.

Queues at Manchester Airport as people try to get on holiday.

Mr Woodroofe said: "It’s not going to be as good as we want it to be, it’s not going to be as good as it was in 2019 but what it will be is considerably better than it was three or four weeks ago.

“The big issues of earlier this year are behind us. Are we in a position to say it’s going to be like it was in 2019?

"No, there are still going to be difficult periods, we are still on a recruitment ramp-up and as a result security officers are going to be fairly new and they are still finding their feet but you can see the positive steps in the right direction.“The vast majority of passengers this summer are going to have a reasonable experience.”

Passengers queuing outside of the airport to check in bags. Credit: MEN Media

Originally from Widnes in Cheshire, Mr Woodroofe, an engineer by trade, was chief operating officer at London Gatwick from 2016 to 2020. 

Mr Woodroofe said his priority was to ‘get people on holiday without having lots of cancellations, adding: “I’m sure we’ve all done what we can to line ourselves up to get everyone on their way.

"It won’t be the perfect experience that I would have liked it to have been but it will be an awful lot better than it was earlier this year and the important thing is they will get on their way.”On the request for passengers to arrive three hours before their flight, Mr Woodroofe stressed that arrival should be three hours ‘on the nose’, as those passengers who arrive early can be ‘as unhelpful’ as those who leave it too late.

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