Manchester Airport - General Thread


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Museum houses airport's chandelier

A GRAND Venetian chandelier that once graced Manchester Airport has moved to a new home.

It is one of four chandeliers that dazzled passengers for 40 years in the airport's terminals.

It is now on display at the World of Glass museum in St Helens after being restored to its former glory.

The chandeliers were removed in 2003 when the departure halls were modernised. The chandelier has 1,300 droplets of clear, smoked grey and amethyst lead glass individually blown by master craftsman Bruno Zanetti.

It cost £3,000 to commission in the 1960s but would now cost more than £250,000.

Jo Hayward, museum curator, said: "It looks fantastic."

The World of Glass had to strengthen and modify its ceiling to support the two-tonne weight of the chandelier, which took two days to hang.

It was donated by Manchester Airport to preserve the heritage of the region.

Another is destined for the Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry.

They were officially unveiled when the Prince Philip opened the terminal in 1962. Their design was altered in 1987 with the coloured glass drops taken out and they were moved from the centre of the departure hall to the side.

Many people were dismayed when airport bosses decided to dismantle them because they would look out of place in the refurbished terminal.

Airport bosses are looking for homes for the other two chandeliers. . . but you need a strong ceiling.

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Manchester airport chases Ronaldo for £20,000 over Ferrari crash

It has to be the most expensive corner he has ever taken. Manchester Airport has asked Cristiano Ronaldo to cough up £20,000 to repair a road tunnel he damaged when he crashed a brand new Ferrari supercar last month.

The Manchester United winger walked away unhurt after bouncing his £200,000 Ferrari 599 GTB off the walls of a tunnel on the A538 under the airport's runways on January 8.

The car, which he was driving for the first time, then struck a metal handrail which guarded an emergency exit door and came to a halt when one of the wheels came off. It was a write-off.

Now the airport has contaced the Portuguese star's insurers to ask him to pay for repairs to damaged brickwork, buckled railings and the smashed exit door.

A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "Part of the airport's infrastructure was damaged in a road traffic accident and as is normal practice our insurers are talking to the other party's insurance company."

Ronaldo, 23, was driving to Manchester United's training ground near Sale when the collision took place on January 8 at about 10.20am. A teammate, Edwin van der Sar, was travelling behind at the time of the crash and later gave him a lift to training.

Greater Manchester Police continue to investigate the incident.

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The male tart was probably busy looking at himself in the mirror!!!
 

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90 airport jobs to go

ABOUT 90 workers will lose their jobs at Manchester Airport due to falling passenger numbers and freight loads.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has announced restructuring proposals which will lead to 305 staff being forced to re-apply for just 215 positions.

The wave of redundancies comes as the airport bids to remain competitive during the economic downturn.

Passenger numbers were down by 10 per cent in January compared to the same month in 2008, with similar reductions in previous months.

The amount of freight through the airport has fallen by 42 per cent since last year.

MAG, which is also cutting staff from Bournemouth and East Midlands airports, will now begin a 90-day consultation process with unions.

It hopes to achieve the cuts, which are expected to affect all levels of the business, through voluntary redundancies.

Some staff will be redeployed if posts become vacant during the consultation period.

Firm Swissport, which employs baggage handlers and ground crews at Manchester, has also announced 35 redundancies due to restructuring.

Competitive edge

Geoff Muirhead CBE, MAG chief executive, said: "Every forward-looking, successful business continually adapts and changes to maintain its competitive edge and we are no different.

"As a result of the current recession, the business is already experiencing reductions in passenger throughput, which in turn reduces the income that it receives from our airline and retail partners.

"The shorter-term outlook for the economy is not positive and as a business we expect to continue to face ongoing reductions in passenger numbers in the coming months, and we must respond to these circumstances."

Manchester Airport Group employs 2,784 staff at Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside Airports. The vast majority, 2,231, are based at Manchester.

A total of 118 jobs will be axed across the group under the proposals. Around 25 staff will be made redundant at East Midlands and three at Bournemouth.

Humberside will not be affected as the airport was up for sale when the process began. That sale has now been scrapped.

A Manchester worker, who did not want to be named, said: "We've been told at 1pm today that there will be job losses.

"People are going to be going home this weekend and coming in on Monday not knowing if they are going to be losing their jobs.

"The feeling around is not very good, people are annoyed."

The terms and conditions of the contracts for the new posts will be part of the consultation. Hundreds of staff at the airport are members of unions Unite, Unison and the GMB.

Lawrence Chapple-Gill, of Unite, said: "It is an all-too familiar story in the current climate.

"We've heard the cuts are going to be across the board, from car parks to business admin, customer service and elsewhere, but this is at an early stage and we haven't a lot of information.

Consultation

"MAG will now enter into a period of consultation with staff and the unions. We will be presented with the full facts and details of why these reductions are necessary.

"We'll discuss alternative proposals and hopefully be able to reduce the numbers and impact."

Passenger numbers dropped from 1,318,121 in January 2008 to 1,182,176 last month. Freight tonnes 12,216 to 7,069 in the same period. There are around 2,500 fewer flights per month, with 500 international services withdrawn, including 200 long-haul flights.

It follows the collapse of XL Airways, budget long-haul carrier Zoo, and the withdraw of high profile services, such as British Airways' New York route, last year.

A Swissport spokesman said: "The posts at risk are across all Swissport's bases in the UK. The overall total is up to 300.

"The majority of these are at supervisory level but some passenger and baggage handling staff are included.

"The restructuring will take advantage of changes in Swissport's working practices to be fit for the challenges currently faced by the aviation industry."

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  • Passenger numbers dropped from 1,318,121 in January 2008 to 1,182,176 last month.
  • Freight tonnes 12,216 to 7,069 in the same period.
  • There are around 2,500 fewer flights per month, with 500 international services withdrawn, including 200 long-haul flights.
This is disastrous for Manchester airport on a monumental scale. The airport is getting hammered by it's neighbouring airports as well as suffering the effects of the recession. I can't see any light at the end of the tunnel for Manchester airport. Even when the economy picks up, the surrounding airports are going to continue to strangle the airports traditional route networks offering local departures.
 

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Airport strikes could cause Easter travel nightmare at Manchester Airport

Easter holidaymakers travelling through Manchester Airport could face disruption if ground staff go ahead with threatened strike action.

The airport, which sees 22 million passengers pass through its doors every year, could have its services seriously disrupted in the run up to and during the Easter holidays if workers vote for industrial action.

Swissport workers will be balloted from tomorrow over restructuring which they say has resulted in job cuts, pay cuts and an unpopular shift pattern. The results of the ballot will be announced on March 23.

Unite regional officer Lawrence Chapple-Gill said: "We urge Swissport to sit down with us and discuss these restructuring plans properly, rather than simply impose them."

Unite claims the company has so far refused to have meaningful talks with them and as a result ground handling staff at the airport, including baggage handlers and ramp operatives, will receive ballot papers this weekend.

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Manchester could to be 'key economic engine'

Greater Manchester has the potential to become the 'key economic engine of the north' and a second centre of growth to complement London if handed greater self-government, according to an independent report published yesterday.

The city of 3.2m people has sufficient scale and external transport links, including the biggest airport outside the south-east, but it would require a radical shake-up of policymaking, said the Manchester Independent Economic Review.

The review is the most detailed examination of a city economy in the UK and features analysis by leading researchers. It was led by a panel including Sir Tom McKillop, former chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, Jim O’Neill, chief economist of Goldman Sachs, and Jonathan Kestenbaum, chief executive of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

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Manchester Airport runway work could shift night flight noise

Night flights could be diverted over the Knutsford area for up to eight months when Manchester Airport’s original runway is closed for refurbishment, the Knutsford Guardian reports. However, a spokesman for the airport told the Guardian that the planes would go around - not over - the town.

The airport plans to shut the runway, used 24 hours a day and is the main runway, next year for refurbishment, rewiring and the replacement of lights. A spokesman said the airport wanted to help minimise the impact on Knutsford and other areas. It is 'actively liasing with local communities' and plans to issue an initial communication this week.

The airport is believed to be planning to close its original runway in spring next year, although no dates had been confirmed. It is not known how many extra planes will have to use the second runway at night, but some are expected to fly over the Knutsford area.

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Manchester long haul flights ‘use them or lose them’

The commercial director of Manchester Airport warned travellers in the north to use long-haul flights from the airport or risk seeing them disappear. Andrew Harrison said their motto should be ‘use it or lose it’.

As many as 50% of people flying to Dubai from the north are travelling down to Heathrow to catch flights rather than using scheduled flights from Manchester, Mr Harrison told a conference of business leaders and flight executives at the airport.

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[textarea]Big profits drop at Manchester Airports Group

Manchester Airports Group reported a big drop in profits in the year to the end of March, as passenger numbers fell during the recession. The group - the UK's second largest airports operator in the UK with Manchester, East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth airports in its portfolio - said operating profits during the 12 months to March 31 fell by almost 19 percent, from £96.5m to £78.4m.

Pre-tax earnings slumped from £87.8m to £54.2m before exceptional items, whilst revenue fell 6.2 percent, from £395.7m to £371.3m. However, revenue was only down by 0.8 percent on continuing operations following the closure of baggage handling business Ringway Handling during the year.

Continued increases in retail and car park income last year were offset by the slump in passenger numbers. The group, which carried 27.3m passengers - 6 percent down on the previous 12 months and the lowest figure since 2005 - took two huge exceptional write offs on its balance sheet, which left it with an after-tax loss of £100.9m.

The value of its properties fell £42.4m, or 12.5 percent, while an exceptional tax charge of £106.2m related to a repayment of government allowances on industrial buildings, a change which has affected all airport and infrastructure businesses. The company continued to invest in 'improving the passenger experience across its four airports,’ spending £78m to improve its terminals and security areas.

Group employee numbers fell from 3,059 to 2,685, largely due to the Ringway Handling closure. Manchester Airport lost 340 staff. A dividend of £20m will be split between the 10 Greater Manchester local authorities which own MAG, although the figure is down from £26m a year earlier.

Group chief executive Geoff Muirhead said the underlying business remained sound although he forecast another difficult year, with a further drop in revenues and profits expected along with 100 job losses to cut costs.

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I wonder to what extent these losses stem from Manchester Airport itself? I would think probably quite substantial.
 

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[textarea]MAG withdraw Gatwick bid

The sale of Gatwick looks increasingly unlikely, at least until the result of the appeal by BAA over the Competition Commissions ruling that it must sell the airport, after it was reported that Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the last remaining bidder, has pulled out after failing to meet BAA's asking price.

Gatwick was put up for sale ahead of the Competition Commission's ruling that BAA's stranglehold of UK airports was bad for consumers. However an auction process appears to have fallen apart with the withdrawal from the process of the MAG, who reportedly walked away after refusing to match BAA's reserve price of £1.5 bn.

Of the original three bidders in the auction, the owners of London City Airport, the investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, a joint venture between General Electric of the US and Credit Suisse, pulled out last month when BAA appealed the Competition Commission's ruling, whilst the third bidder, a Citigroup-led consortium, were kicked out by BAA two months ago.

All three groups are reported to remain interested in acquiring Gatwick - one of the most attractive airport assets on the market worldwide - but are reluctant to meet the target price set by BAA, given the deterioration in the airport's traffic performance. They are also said to be seeking to exploit the growing pressures for BAA to complete a sale. BAA must repay £1bn of its existing bank debt in March next year and the sale of Gatwick would help the refinancing.

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I wonder if MAG will now look at Glasgow as an alternative purchase?
 

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[textarea]Manchester Airport faces bank holiday strike

Baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff responsible for refueling aircraft at Manchester Airport are being balloted about potential strike action in a dispute over pay. If the vote is approved, the Unite union said that strike action could take place during the peak August bank holiday weekend.

The 300 workers based at Manchester Airport are employed by Swissport, Rentokil/Initial and ASIG are being balloted over strike action. The union says that disputes are over plans to impose a pay freeze and to renege on a pay deal agreed in 2008.

Unite regional officer Lawrence Chapple-Gill said: ‘We are not oblivious to the economic climate, and understand the impact any industrial action would have on travellers during the busy summer period, but these employers are asking already low-waged workers to bear the full brunt of companies' attempts to adjust costs.'

‘Unite is prepared to work with the employers to find short-term solutions in the current economic climate. To avoid any potential industrial action, we urge the companies to start negotiating seriously and reward our members for their continued commitment.’

The union will announce the ballot results on August 17, and must give seven days notice of planned strike dates.

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[textarea]Vulcan flypast for Manchester Airport

Aviation enthusiasts enjoyed a rare treat when a Cheshire-built Vulcan bomber performed a flypast at Manchester Airport over the weekend. The subject of a recent £8 million restoration project, XH588 was en route to Southport Air Show.

The Vulcan - an iconic relic of the Cold War era - was flown in combat during the famous Black Buck missions during the Falklands War, when the airfield at Port Stanley was bombed. XH558 was the last of the jets to fly in 1993 when it was put into storage at a Leicestershire airfield. But after the restoration, the huge jet, which can reach speeds of up to 645mph, has been visiting displays across the country, and was in Oxfordshire two weekends ago.

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[textarea]Award for Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport has been named UK Airport of the Year for the second year running at the British Travel Awards. The judges looked at sustainability efforts, customer satisfaction and innovative technology, with Manchester beating off competition from rivals Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Leeds Bradford and Glasgow airports.

The British Travel Awards are voted for by consumers and travel professionals with the airport praised for its sustainable travel measures, its efforts to minimise the impact of increased security, its investment in improving customer experience and the range of products and services on offer.

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[textarea]Manchester Airport to convert old control tower in to bar

In a world first, Manchester Airport is to convert its old (and currently out of use) control tower in Terminal 1 to create an elevated 110sq m luxury bar. The airport is seeking a partner to manage the new business once complete.

The space is arranged over four levels, with Level 5 featuring the open-plan bar. There, passengers will have unobstructed views over the airfield. Access is from Level 2 – the main retail area in Departures - via a lift or a spiral staircase within the core of the building. The Level 2 entrance area could be opened up to the concourse, and could be used for merchandising to maximise passing trade. This area could also be used as a reception / concierge zone where guests could wait before travelling to the bar on Level 5.

Manchester Airport said the control tower would contain ‘an exciting space with unparalleled views,’ and that it would be ‘comfortable, intimate and special’. The company added: ‘Manchester Airport is committed to working together in partnership to create an innovative and remarkable destination for a special brand.’ The bar aims to complement the recent £50m upgrade of Terminal 1.

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Team Heatwave - a.k.a. Manchester Airport Firemen Dean Jagger and Neil Gyllenship – today revealed the name of the 30-foot boat that they plan to row across the Atlantic Ocean in December, to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

At the official naming ceremony in the airport’s North Fire Station “The Spirit of MA” was blessed by Reverend Kevin ‘Rev Kev’ Ball, before leaving to begin her journey to the starting line of the Atlantic Rowing Race 2009 in Tenerife.

Manchester Airport Fire Service’s Watch Manager and Team Heatwave member, Neil Gllyenship, 34, said: “The naming of any seagoing vessel is an ancient tradition dating as far back as the ancient Greeks, Romans and Vikings. It is believed that doing so brought good luck and protected them from potential harm while at sea ensuring the safe passage of the boat.”

He added: “We ran a competition giving colleagues across the airport site the chance to name the vessel and we had lots of great entries. We decided that ‘The Spirit of MA’ was a very appropriate name for our boat because of the tremendous amount of support that Manchester Airport and everyone who works here, has given us.”

The airport threw its support behind Team Heatwave back in July when the fire fighters announced their plan to undertake the 3000-mile row to raise £100,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice, St Annes Hospice and children’s-charity, Childflight.

The gruelling challenge begins on 6th December at Tenerife with the finish in Antigua set to be reached approximately 2 months later, in what is billed as ‘the world’s toughest rowing race’. It is the first time that Dean and Neil have ever rowed competitively and because the salty Atlantic seawater can cause extreme chaffing, the two-man Team Heatwave crew will complete the epic trek in the nude

Once aboard, they will eat boil in the bag food and drink seawater purified by a special on-board pump, as they complete their journey guided by GPS satellite technology, whilst keeping in contact with their families by satellite phone.

Manchester Airport Fire Service Fire-fighter Dean Jagger, 40, added: “It’s an amazing, once in a lifetime challenge. It’s going to be hard but in the true spirit in Manchester Airport we are going to give it our all and raise as much as we can for charity.”
 

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BEST OF BRITISH – MANCHESTER NAMED ‘UK AIRPORT OF THE YEAR’ FOR SECOND YEAR
Manchester Airport has been named “UK Airport of the Year” for the second year running at the national British Travel Awards ceremony, held in London last night.

Based on strict criteria, the judging process looked specifically at sustainability efforts, customer satisfaction and innovative technology, the airports managed to combat competition from Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Leeds Bradford, Belfast City, Birmingham International, London Luton and Glasgow.

The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK, created to recognise and reward the best companies in the travel industry. Voted for by consumers and travel professionals, Manchester was praised for its alignment towards sustainable travel, its efforts to minimise the impact of increased security, its investment in the customer experience and the vast range of products and services on offer.

Lorraine Barnes Burton, CEO at The British Travel Awards commented: “Travel industry professionals nominated more than 8 airports across the country in the initial stages of this year’s British Travel Awards competition. All the nominees were invited to answer specific questions about their products and operations, to support the votes they had achieved, and Manchester was quickly shortlisted. The BTA Academy of judges felt that Manchester’s entry clearly demonstrated its commitment to passengers whilst developing its offering and enhancing customer experience throughout the Airport – making it a clear winner for The British Travel Awards UK Airport of the Year for the second year running.”

The award follows the unveiling of Manchester Airport’s £80 million redevelopment across Terminals 1 and 2 earlier this year including £25 million to transform security.

Andrew Harrison, Commercial Director for Manchester Airport said, “To have received this highly prestigious title for the second year running is a huge accomplishment for Manchester Airport and highlights the hard work, dedication and successes achieved over the past twelve months.

“Manchester continues to invest in the customer experience, creating an unrivalled experience for its passengers. This year has seen the unveiling of over £80 million worth of investment at Manchester on our terminals hopefully setting us on the road to becoming one of the world’s best airports. Winning this award tonight is a suitable reward for everyone who has been involved in that process.”

Andrew Harrison attended the awards ceremony and received the award on behalf of Manchester Airport
 

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[textarea]Manchester air traffic control staff to move north

Manchester Airport's 35-year-old air traffic control centre is to close in 2010, with 180 staff moving to Scotland. The move by NATS, formerly National Air Traffic Services, will see a new £170m centre in Prestwick, Ayrshire, controlling the general airspace. Staff at Manchester Airport's control tower, who monitor take-offs and landings, remain unaffected.

The air traffic control centre employs 220 staff and 180 have opted for the move north. Others have accepted redundancy or retirement. Once the move is completed, NATS centre in Prestwick and its equivalent in Swanwick, Hampshire, will control all UK airspace. David Harrison, who manages air traffic in Manchester, said the switch would improve the safety of air traffic in the UK.

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Manchesters Terminal 3 (T3) was evacuated today (Sat 23rd Jan) due to security reasons at 14.25. It turned out a passenger was attempting to check in on a BA flight to LHR with a suspicious `dangerous` and flammable liquid. All T3 flights now checking in at T1 for the time being...
 
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Just been to Manchester airport T2 to pick up family was only in the pick up area 5 minutes most cost £2.00. Verdict? Rip off, should do what LBA does and allow 10 mins free.
 
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