The owner of Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports saw annual earnings rise by more than 17% to £283.6 million.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) cited “industry-leading increases” in both passenger numbers and commercial revenues in the year to March 31.
The group’s airports handled 10.7% more passengers at 48.5 million over the previous 12 months.
This was driven by record numbers at Manchester airport – up 7.2% to 22.3 million – and 16.1% growth at Stansted to 20.9 million.
Together, Stansted and Manchester’s growth exceeded that of Heathrow and Gatwick airports combined.
MAG said it welcomed the focus on the essential role that aviation plays in connecting the UK to the world in the Airports Commission’s final report into airport expansion in the south-east.
The group called for Government to address the need for the UK to develop a strong network of competing airports, ensuring that best use is made of the capacity available at Stansted and Manchester in the period before any new runway can be delivered – something that is likely to take 15 years or more.
“In order to ensure that this potential is utilised, it is vital that faster rail services are delivered to both Manchester and London Stansted airports and that Stansted’s planning caps are relaxed to enable the airport to make full use of the capacity of its existing runway,” MAG said.
Chief executive Charlie Cornish, said: “Our airports have a vital role to play in the next 10-15 years as London expands eastwards, the Northern Powerhouse becomes a reality and runway capacity in the south-east becomes even scarcer.
“Following the Airports Commission’s submission of its final report, it is imperative that the focus of government and other stakeholders is on the practical steps needed to maximise the potential of existing airport capacity in the period before any new runway is completed.
“We continue to request that government and Network Rail apply greater efforts to improve the rail links into Stansted and Manchester, which together can accommodate an extra 50-60 million passengers a year.”
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