More than 21 million passengers used Manchester airport last year – the first time this figure has been hit in six years.
Its numbers are rising by 5.5 per cent year on year, compared with 3 per cent for the UK as a whole, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
The airport said numbers have been increasing at Manchester over the past few years, with the 20 million mark being hit last year - the first time in five years.
Ken O’Toole, chief commercial officer of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said that welcoming its 21 millionth passenger in 12 months on May 27 was testament to better marketing of the “overall strength of the airport”.
“You have 24m people and 60 per cent of the UK’s businesses within two hours’ driving time. That is a strong basis to attract airlines,” said Mr O’Toole.
Manchester has a range of long-haul destinations including: Singapore, Las Vegas, Washington DC, New York, Paris and Moscow, with new routes including Charlotte in North Carolina, Vienna and Jeddah.