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Big February Boost to Airport Passengers 7 March 2008

The number of passengers using the Isle of Man Airport in February increased by a massive 12.6% last month when compared with February 2007. Over 59,000 passengers passed through the airport, a record number for February, beating the previous highest February in 2005 by more than 1,000. This result is despite some airlines cutting back on services during the winter months, and whilst the additional day due to the leap year accounts for about 3.6% of the increase, in real terms this means a 9% rise in traffic.

The major improvement has been with air services linking the Island with North West England. All three routes to Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool recorded increases, with the Manchester route soaring by 27% to more than 12,600 passengers. For the first time since June 2005, the Liverpool route saw an increase in passengers over the previous year and Blackpool was also up by 6.6%.

Isle of Man Airport Director Ann Reynold is delighted with the February results. “We have all been working hard with the airlines to reverse the recent slight downturn in passenger numbers and it is great news to see that our joint efforts are paying off,” she said. “I am particularly pleased to see such encouraging results from the routes to North West England where nearly 3,200 additional passengers flew in February. Moreover, many of our other regional routes have been performing well with traffic to Scotland up by 15%, the Channel Islands by 59% and Leeds by 7.5%.”

The new routes recently introduced from the Island have also performed well with Geneva, launched in February, carrying more than 500 passengers, Luton generating 1,400 and Gloucester, again doing well with in excess of 1,200. The major losses were from the winter withdrawal of the Bristol and Southampton routes, accounting for the loss of some 1,300 passengers, but Southampton will be restarting in mid-March with Flybe.

“Another reassuring sign is the improvement to passenger numbers on our London routes,” said Ann. “With the restoration of Luton and increase traffic to Gatwick, more than 1,800 extra passengers flew to London. It is vitally important that our major markets to London, the Midlands and the North West remain strong with consistent growth and I am encouraged to see two of the three doing so well.

“I expect this trend to continue with Flybe introducing additional flights to Manchester, Liverpool and Luton. I am also confident that, with the introduction this week of the new Manx2 route to East Midlands Airport and the combination of Flybe and Eastern Airways increasing flights to Birmingham from the end of March, the Midlands will see a continuation of this positive trend.

Both of the Isle of Man-based airlines, EuroManx and Manx2, recorded increases in traffic, with EuroManx up by 2,800 passengers, or 15%, and Manx2 up by more than 2,000 passengers, a 48% increase. “EuroManx and Manx2 fly the Isle of Man flag to nine destinations and I am pleased to see our Island-based operations doing so well,” added Ann.

(Please see Monthly Air Traffic Summary for February 2008 by clicking the document below)

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