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Air Passengers Up Despite Collapse Of Euromanx 9 June 2008

The number of passengers using the Isle of Man Airport has increased by 6% in May even though Euromanx, the airline that was responsible for flying about one third of the airport’s passengers, ceased operations on 9th May. Almost 71,600 passengers passed through the Airport, nearly 4,000 more than in May 2007. This is the seventh successive month that the Airport has recorded an increase in passenger numbers, and so far this year air passenger numbers to and from the Island have surged by almost 8%.

The Airport is keen to acknowledge that this continued upward trend is largely due to the outstanding response from Flybe and Manx2 following the closure of Euromanx. Both airlines quickly rose to the challenge, offering passengers affected free transfers to their own flights. The Isle of Man Government and the Airport also provided valuable support, allowing taxes and airport charges to be waived so that stranded passengers did not have to pay them twice. As a result, most passengers who had booked with Euromanx to travel in May were still able to fly.

“We were delighted with the proactive support we received from Flybe and Manx2 during the crisis that faced many thousands of our passengers,” said Ann Reynolds, Isle of Man Airport Director. “The May figures show that the vast majority of Euromanx passengers were able to quickly rearrange their travel plans thanks to Flybe and Manx2. As a result, passenger numbers continued to hold up well with the Manchester route increasing by 2,300 passengers over May 2007 and Liverpool sustaining the same level. Belfast City another route previously operated by Euromanx was also up - by 7%.”

Many of the Euromanx London City passengers were able to transfer to Flybe’s Gatwick and Luton routes, and as a result, the London routes from the Isle of Man were in total up by over 1100 passengers. “Luton performed particularly well, with 4,400 passengers using the route and the Gatwick service was, on average, three quarters full throughout the month” said Ann.

May was also a growth month for many of the other routes serving the Island. The Manx2 Gloucester service again achieved a monthly record of over 1,500 passengers and the newly launched East Midlands route exceeded expectations. The Saturday Flybe Newquay flight, which flies on to Jersey, commenced on 24 May and traffic on the weekday Channel Islands link with Blue Islands increased by 42%. The Loganair Scottish routes also saw increases to both Glasgow and Edinburgh and Aer Arann recorded a slight increase in Dublin passengers.

“Whilst the closure of Euromanx is bound to affect passenger numbers using the Airport, particularly in the short term, the May results have been very reassuring” added Ann. “The massive capacity serving Northwest England recently was unsustainable and now that an adjustment to this has taken place, we will be working with our airline partners to try to ensure that air travel to and from the Island remains competitive, continuing the recent upward trend in passenger traffic. However, I remain cautious at this time as the air transport industry is having to bear the cost of soaring fuel prices and this is sure to have some impact upon growth in general.”

(Please see Monthly Air Traffic Summery for May 2008 by clicking on the attached below)

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