easyJet’s newest route from Liverpool started this morning with passengers jetting off on the airline’s inaugural flight to Antalya in Turkey.
The Department for Transport today announced its decision that Manchester Airport will no longer be required to have its charges regulated by the independent regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
One of the reasons for this change in regulation was sited by the DfT as the progress made in recent years by airports such as Liverpool John Lennon (LJLA).
In the past 10 years LJLA has seen an eight fold increase in passenger numbers to today’s record of 5.5 million annual passengers and an increase in the choice of scheduled destinations from just 3 in 1997 to over 60 in 2008.
The DfT report shows that Liverpool’s recent growth and success in the low cost airline market with Europe’s top two low cost carriers easyJet and Ryanair having bases there, has meant that traffic to a number of European destinations, including Madrid, Paris and Geneva, has transferred from Manchester Airport to Liverpool Airport. Latest statistics show that some 750,000 passengers from the Greater Manchester area now choose to fly from Liverpool each year.
Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly said, “In making my decision on Manchester I have taken into consideration the fact that other local airports, such as Liverpool airport, offer real choice for passengers.”
Neil Pakey, Managing Director at LJLA added, “It wasn’t long ago that it would have been difficult to have seen Liverpool as a creditible alternative for passengers considering air travel to and from the region. This decision demonstrates just how far Liverpool has come in a short space of time. Liverpool and Manchester Airports today offer the region’s passengers their widest choice of affordable fares to a great range of destinations.”
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Loganair, Scotland’s Airline, has announced plans to take up the Liverpool to Isle of Man route formerly flown by Flybe. The service will operate between Liverpool and the Isle of Man up to 19 times per week initially, with plans to increase this to three times daily from the end of March.