Stansted airport to receive £80 million upgrade

Stansted airport in Essex, UK, has today unveiled a £80 million development project.

Mike Davies, the chairman of the airport’s owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), was joined by the UK’s transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, and the airport’s managing director, Andrew Harrison, when details of the plan were revealed, which is intended to ‘transform Stansted’s iconic terminal building and meet the demands of modern air travel’.

The upgrade, which has been designed with the help of psychologists in order to minimise passenger stress and maximise relaxation, will involve better use of existing space, new security facilities and a larger departure lounge.

Half of the cost of the project is being funded by MAG, with the additional GBP40 million from commercial partners.

The transport secretary commented, ‘Just three months into its ownership of the airport MAG has shown it is prepared to invest in the infrastructure to improve passenger services and provide new facilities. The millions invested in this project will transform Stansted Airport’s terminal building and the way passengers use it. That’s not just good news for travellers, it’s also good news for the country because this sort of improvement to our transport infrastructure helps to make the UK more competitive in the global economic race.’

Andrew Harrison said, ‘Today marks the start of a significant investment programme to transform the terminal and help deliver our ambitious plans to radically improve Stansted and make it the airport of choice in London for airlines and passengers alike.

‘The way airlines and passengers use the airport has dramatically changed over recent years with far fewer passengers using check-in desks or travelling with hold baggage but spending more time in the departure lounge. This exciting transformation project responds to these changing trends and will create a quicker and more efficient security process and bring some sparkle to what is already a fantastic terminal.

‘Our focus is to provide great service and facilities and put Stansted in the strongest position to compete effectively for new routes, airlines and passengers and this transformation of our terminal is a critical element in achieving this aim and central to our future growth plans for Stansted.’

London Stansted Airport Baggage Handlers to Strike As Talks Fail

London Stansted Airport in the UK has issued a warning for passengers travelling to and from the airport on May 23, 24, 26, 27 and 28, and June 2 to 6 2012.

The airport has announced that members of the GMB and Unite unions, which represent the ground-based handling staff at the airport, will take planned periods of industrial action on those dates. The unions announced the strike action as talks aimed at resolving a dispute with Swissport International, a company that provides ground support services at Stansted Airport, were said to have failed. The dispute concerned work rosters.

The seven days of industrial action will include the following schedule:

From 05.30 hrs on May 23 to 05.30 hrs on May 24, 2012.

From 05.30 hrs on May 26 to 05.30 on May 28, 2012.

And 05.30 hrs on June 2 to 05.30 on June 6, 2012.

The airport notification states, that ‘it has contingency plans in place and expects to operate a full flight schedule. Stansted Airport will be open and plans to operate as normal at all times.’

Gary Pearce, the GMB organiser, has said in a statement, ‘GMB negotiators have been in talks to reach an agreement to resolve this issue since the agreed suspension of the strike action scheduled over Easter. It is a shame that Swissport made and then withdrawn a number of proposals including a return to the original 4 days on and 2 days off roster which would have settled the dispute. The proposals were withdrawn last Friday. GMB gave notice of further strike action on last Tuesday while have continuing to negotiate but without success. No one from Swissport has made any attempt to contact GMB over the weekend despite knowing that we are available 24/7 to meet with them. It seems we are at the end of the line and that strike action will begin at Stansted airport form 0530 on the 23 May until 0530 on the 24 May.’

Ryanair Announces New Route from London Stansted to Paphos in Cyprus

Ryanair, an Ireland-based low cost airline, has announced the launch of a new route from London Stansted Airport in England, to Paphos International Airport, Cyprus.


The new route commenced from May 3, 2012, with fares commencing at GBP102.41 one way.


As part of the launch of the new route, Cyprus Tourist Office is offering passengers on the flight a taste of celebrated Cypriot wine.


Michelle Lowe, a spokesperson for Ryanair, said, ‘Ryanair is delighted to celebrate the start of its new route to Paphos in Cyprus from London Stansted. This new route will allow London Stansted passengers to beat the recession by choosing Ryanair’s guaranteed lowest fares and no fuel surcharges. This summer Ryanair will offer passengers a choice over 110 top destinations from London Stansted to popular holiday spots including Alicante, Carcassonne, Faro and Palma Mallorca.’


Earlier, the airport announced that it will maintain a base at Paphos, at an investment of GBP86.6 million at Paphos Airport, with two aircraft, which will be flying in 14 routes and around 80 weekly flights.


Mark Souter, the head of airline relations at London Stansted Airport, said, ‘Cyprus is an extremely popular destination and this new Ryanair service is great news for passengers wanting convenient flight connections to Paphos and surrounding region, as well as providing great access to London and the East of England for visitors from Cyprus.


We’re delighted to welcome this new scheduled connection to Cyprus onto our route network today and wish Ryanair every success with the service.’