Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is nearing pre-pandemic levels, with passenger numbers recovering to 90 per cent of 2019 levels.

MAG, which owns and operates Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports served 3.5 million passengers in February.

Manchester airport saw 1.7 million passengers travel through its terminals last month – 93 per cent of the total flown in February 2019. Meanwhile, London Stansted airport saw 1.7 million passengers in February 2023 and East Midlands welcomed 137,452 travellers.

Manchester airport, in particular, says that it is “set for a strong summer”. Low-cost carriers carried 865,000 of its passengers last month, marking 99 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, while long-haul markets saw 320,000 passengers in February (92 per cent of 2019 levels).

The most popular destination at Manchester airport in February was Dubai, with more than 88,000 passengers travelling to the Middle East hub, followed by Dublin, Amsterdam, Tenerife and Paris.

The airport also revealed that a number of destinations have seen more passengers so far this year than pre-pandemic. These include Barbados, Doha, Dubai, Geneva, Istanbul, Lanzarote, Sharm-El-Sheikh and Tenerife.

MAG is continuing to recruit staff ahead of the summer in order to reduce queues at security, with more than 1,600 new security officers joining since February 2022 – over 1,000 of which were at Manchester airport.