Manchester airport’s Terminal 2 extension will finally open for business this week, with Jet 2 set to be the first carrier to operate flights from the new flagship facility.
As previously reported, the first phase of the T2 extension project had been due to open in summer 2020, but this was postponed following the onset of Covid-19.
The airport said that “to ensure the smoothest possible opening when flying resumes in earnest, MAG has agreed a staggered launch of the terminal with its airline partners”.
This will see Jet 2 operate the inaugural flights from the facility on Wednesday July 14, with just three services on day 1, to Menorca, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca.
TUI will then begin flights from the terminal on July 15, followed by Singapore Airlines on July 17.
MAG said that other airlines will follow in the coming weeks “as the Government’s policy for double-vaccinated passengers comes into play”.
Initially the extension will offer a limited number of retail and F&B facilities, including Pret-a-Manger, Costa Coffee, KFC, The Amber Alehouse and The Bridgewater Exchange by Joseph Holt, with other outlets set to open in due course.
There will also be two airport lounges operating under the Escape and 1903 Lounges brands, offering a total capacity of 400 guests on the upper level of the extended terminal.
But as yet there has been no confirmation as to when Virgin Atlantic’s new Clubhouse will open at Terminal 2 – the carrier is set to resume flying from the airport on August 7, with flights to Barbados.
Features of the extended terminal include a new security area with ten lanes, an 81 sqm digital screen in the departure lounge providing “interactive content and information to passengers”, and a new arrivals immigration facility which is four times larger than the current space, with a baggage reclaim area which will initially operate with three out of eight new baggage belts.
Commenting on the news Karen Smart, managing director of Manchester airport, said:
“After a long wait, we are delighted to confirm the first passengers will be able to enjoy our new Terminal Two this week. It is a proud milestone for our airport as we begin to emerge from the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 crisis, and an important moment in our 83-year history.
“This project was always about offering the modern airport experience that families and businesses across the North deserve as they travel through their international gateway to the world, and our new terminal certainly delivers on that goal.
“The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped.
“As Government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened-up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from T2.
“In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating this milestone and welcoming those who are travelling through the new terminal later this week. I would also like to thank all our colleagues and partners for their hard work and dedication in getting us to this point.”