First passengers welcomed to Manchester Airport’s new Terminal Two extension

Manchester Airport welcomed the first passengers to transit through its new Terminal Two extension this morning (Wednesday July 14), the main highlight of the GBP1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP).

The first flight to take-off from the expanded Terminal Two was a Jet2.com flight to Menorca.

The revamped Terminal Two facility was officially opened by Manchester Airport’s managing director Karen Smart and Jet2.com’s general manager at Manchester Airport, Marc Burns. The opening had been delayed by more than a year due to the pandemic, after work started on the improved facility in 2017.

The inaugural passengers then had their first opportunity to sample the new terminal’s facilities, including a number of new shops, bars and restaurants and a giant media wall. More shops are set to open throughout the week as passenger numbers increase.

Jet2.com will have two further flights leaving from the terminal today, with TUI flights added to its roster from tomorrow. The increasing opportunities for travel following the pandemic are expected to see more airlines using the improved facility over the next few weeks.

Commenting on the opening, Karen Smart, said: ‘This is a hugely significant milestone for our airport, our city, the North as a whole and the wider recovery of the travel industry. After a hugely challenging 16 months, we are delighted to be delivering some positive news and welcoming the first passengers into our new terminal extension.

‘The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped. However, as Government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened-up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from Terminal Two.’

Jet 2’s Steve Heapy, said: ‘The new terminal extension at Manchester Airport is fantastic news for our customers, and we are delighted to be the first airline to take off from the expanded terminal this morning. From today all of our flights will depart and arrive from the expanded Terminal Two, with the exception of arrivals from Jersey.’

Gatwick to reopen North Terminal to accommodate more flights

Gatwick has introduced several measures to protect the health and safety of both passengers and staff, as the airport prepares to reopen its North Terminal today, June 15, with several airlines planning to scale up their flying programmes.

As part of the new safety measures, passengers will be required to wear a face covering within the airport with Gatwick staff mandated to wear face coverings in customer interface areas of the terminals. Face mask vending machines will also be made available at the airport. Good hand-hygiene will be encouraged with sign-posted hand washing facilities and numerous hand sanitising stations – including touch-free models. The airport will also ensure frequent deep cleaning of common-use surfaces throughout the airport with teams available to respond to any passenger concerns on cleanliness. Social distancing procedures will be in place at check in, security, gate rooms, seating in departure halls and in restaurants, bars and shops; and Perspex screens will be throughout the terminals, including check in desks, and gate rooms.

Gatwick will now also increase its operating hours to 0600-22.00 and easyJet has announced that it is restarting flights from the North Terminal on June 15 alongside Wizz Air, Ryanair, Belavia, Vueling and Blue Island.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, Gatwick Airport, said: ‘Having remained open throughout this pandemic the wellbeing and safety of our passengers and everyone that works at the airport remains our top priority. We have introduced a range of new social distancing and hygiene solutions to help this happen so we can all help protect each other when travelling through the airport. We want people to understand that airports and air travel is a safe environment in this COVID-19 travelling world.’

‘We are pleased to be in a position to re-open the North Terminal and we look forward to welcoming back easyJet as they restart flights alongside our other airlines. The recent Government announcement regarding the 14-day quarantine period for passengers arriving into the UK is, in our opinion, already having an impact on the start of air travel recovery. We accept the Government’s absolute priority is the protection of public health, but we continue to push for regular, country by country reviews of quarantine regulations, based on medical evidence.’

Passengers travelling through the airport are encouraged to check the travel guidance before they leave home https://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/passenger-services/coronavirus/, Gatwick said. In addition to passenger guidance available online and via passenger app, digital and physical signage advising passengers of the new health measures is displayed throughout the airport. Further, a new film will also be aired that informs passengers of the new guidance and what to expect when travelling through the airport.

Gatwick Airport to consolidate operations into South Terminal from April

In response to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Gatwick has announced its decision to consolidate passenger processing and facilities into the airport’s South Terminal and to limit scheduled flights on its runway to between 1400 and 2200 hrs, with effect from April 1, 2020.

The airport’s operations will be consolidated into the South Terminal and the runway will remain open for emergency landings and diversions only outside these hours. The airport has made this decision to protect the health and safety of passengers and staff, and to protect the business following the reduction in passenger traffic, it said.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive, Gatwick Airport, said: ‘Gatwick is a resilient but also responsible business and during these extraordinary times we need to take unprecedented measures to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and passengers, while also shielding the business from the impact of Coronavirus.

‘I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my staff for their continuing hard work through this difficult time and to reassure them that we are taking these difficult decisions now, so that we are in a position to recover quickly and get back to generating jobs and economic benefits for the region and wider economy well into the future.

‘During these extraordinary times, we have also seen remarkable acts of kindness and community spirit in support of people who may need some additional help. To add to this, we will also be providing some opportunities so that any of our staff, who have time during this period of reduced operations, that choose to, can help support people in our local communities.’

The temporary closure of the North Terminal will last for a minimum of one month and the situation will be kept under regular review, the airport said. The North Terminal will be reopened when traffic increases and the government directives to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as social distancing, is relaxed.

The decision to scale back the airport’s operations has been done in consultation with the airport’s airline partners and any passengers booked on flights due to depart or arrive at Gatwick during this period are advised to contact their airline, it added.

Birmingham Airport announces experience improvement programme

Birmingham Airport has said that it has commenced a multi-million-pound programme of development works to improve the passenger journey through the airport terminal.

The development works include revamping the security processing area to provide more boarding card gates, a dedicated security preparation area and a refreshed waiting area with new flooring and lighting. Additional staff are also being recruited in key customer facing areas, including terminal operations, customer relations and security officers.

Commenting on the plan, David Winstanley, COO for Birmingham Airport, said, ‘This investment comes following record passenger growth and to ensure that we’re prepared for the coming summer period where the airport will welcome new long-haul services to New York, Boston and Toronto, as well as many new popular short haul destinations.

‘The service we give our customers is an absolute priority for us so we’re investing a great deal to improve the airport journey for them.’

The Airport is also expanding its retail and catering offer. It has recently opened The Factory restaurant as well as added Kurt Geiger to its airside shopping experience. In spring, a new Bottega prosecco bar will open as well as wrapchic – an Indian inspired burrito and sandwich outlet.

Further, the Airport is building a covered walkway to the terminal from the free drop off car park, and a new 178-guestroom Hilton Garden Inn hotel will open in the summer. New digital wayfinding and signage will also be introduced before the summer season.

In addition, the airport said that a job fair will be held at the airport. Details are available at: www.birminghamairport.co.uk/careers, it added.

London Southend Airport Announces Terminal Expansion

London Southend Airport, an airport in the UK, has announced that it is in the process of expanding the terminal.

The expansion will include a new arrivals facility, which is expected to be complete by May 2013. The construction of all phases of the development is likely to be completed by the end of 2013.

The extension of the airport terminal, which will cost GBP10 million, means that passengers will have a maximum wait time of four-minutes for security check, and a 15 minutes transit time from aircraft to train for passengers that only have hand luggage, as the airport is located almost next to a railway station. The new extension will add 90 metres to the existing terminal building.

The expansion will also include a greater number of check-in desks and baggage drop off points, an increase in the size of the departure lounge, improved baggage reclaim facilities and a larger immigration area. The airport will also be offering more retail and catering facilities to passengers.

The project is expected to add around 300 new jobs to the economy, from additional operations at the terminal.

The managing director of the airport, Alastair Welch, said, ‘Our aim is to ensure that we deliver a very special level of customer service in Southend and this extension will allow us to ensure we can continue to deliver those high standards as the airport grows.

This is also further evidence of the role the redeveloped airport is playing in supporting the regeneration of the wider Essex economy.’