A range of activities will take place either side of Manchester airport’s 80th birthday on June 25.
The celebrations will emphasise its regional roots and global branches, telling the story of its evolution from a single wooden hut in 1938 to the UK’s third largest airport today.
The airport will join forces with Manchester’s Bee in the City campaign, unveiling a giant bee in its ground transport interchange.
The bee will have a theme of “80 days around the world” pointing to the airport’s route network.
It will be one of the many bees to eventually go on auction to raise funds for the I Love Manchester fund following last year’s terrorist bombing of the Manchester Arena.
Manchester airport will also be partnering with KLM, which operated the first commercial flight on June 27, 1938 to Amsterdam via Doncaster.
The Dutch national carrier is planning a range of activities to celebrate this milestone with its passengers.
A range of activities for communities surrounding the airport are also planned as part of the anniversary celebrations.
The airport today made a pledge to plant 80 oak trees around the region, working community organisations to decide the locations for them.
There will also be a 80th birthday tea parties and a school competition to design the airport’s official birthday card.
Pictured: Manchester Airport, 1938
All of the activity will be backed up by exclusive content on the airport’s social media platforms where fans and followers can engage with facts, figures and videos.
Chief executive Andrew Cowan said: “Marking 80 years is a milestone everyone at the airport is incredibly proud of.
“As we look back, it is clear to see Manchester is a totally different airport to when it first opened in 1938, but we have never lost sight of our local roots and the important role we play in the lives of those living and working around us.
“As passenger numbers have grown, along with the number of places we fly to, so have the benefits we deliver to the region, in terms of the number of jobs created, businesses supported through our investment or the trade and tourism links we provide.
“I look forward to the coming years and seeing the airport develop through our £1 billion transformation programme that will see Manchester continue to be a world-class airport for all of the north.”
Air France KLM head of commercial Ivo Steffens added: “We are extremely proud to be celebrating 80 years of operation from Manchester airport this summer, a significant milestone in the long partnership between KLM and the Manchester region.
“Having commenced operations with a Douglas DC2 back in 1938, we now offer the local community five daily flights between Manchester and Amsterdam, with many of our passengers travelling onwards to our extensive network of 165 destinations worldwide.
“We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone with our customers and are confident that our continued investment in both our product and route network will further support both tourism and local business in the region.”
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