- Manchester airport working closely with Government to ensure everything is in place to get Britain flying again ahead of summer
- Quote: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global aviation. Since the pandemic in March we have worked closely with Government to create the right environment for passengers to begin flying safely again’.
By Andrew Atkinson
Manchester Airport, which has scheduled flights to and from Alicante-Elche airport, is to cut its business hours for arrivals and departures, in response to new strict measures imposed on passengers travelling into the UK.
The hub, which is currently operating from just one of its three terminals, will implement the efficiency changes until February 15 – although the changes could be extended depending on national guidance.
The first time such restrictions have been implemented, arriving airlines will be asked to land between 4.01am and 10pm daily.
Departure flights are even more restricted, with hours between 7am and 5pm daily. In the past they have been scheduled between 5am and 11pm.
Although the terminal will remain open 24 hours a day, security channels will be available only between 5am and 5pm.
In ‘exceptional circumstances’, departures may be scheduled up to 5.30pm.
A small number of flights will operate outside these windows and staff will be informed and made available.
The airfield will remain open at all times to allow for delayed flights and any potential diverts or emergency landings.
Airport bosses have made the move after it was announced passengers arriving from all destinations will be required to quarantine in a bid to prevent the spread of new variants of Covid.
It means all travel corridors will be closed and passengers will have to show proof of a negative test taken in the previous 72 hours before travelling.
While fully co-operating with the Government, the airline industry is calling for support during this period – and for a clear plan on how flights can resume once the pandemic picture improves.
Passengers are advised they will still be able to access the terminal as needed for their flights, but to check with their airline before heading to the airport as schedules are liable to change.
A Manchester Airport spokesman said: “With travel currently restricted to essential journeys only, and most airlines operating a reduced service, we are working with our airlines to ensure our terminal operations and flight schedules are as efficient as possible.
“The airfield will remain operational round the clock to allow for delayed flights and any potential diverts or emergency landings that might be required. As always, passengers should continue to check with their airline on the status of their flight before heading to the airport.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the global aviation industry. Since the pandemic first took hold in March last year, we have worked closely with Government to create the right environment for passengers to begin flying safely again.
“This includes the introduction of safety measures across the airport, the launch of the Government’s Test to Release programme, and the opening of our on-site testing facility.
“We continue to work closely with Government to ensure everything is in place to get Britain flying again ahead of the summer season.”