Manchester Airport Consultative Committee (MACC) - Minutes

Scottie Dog

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The next MACC is on 22nd January 2021.

Would you like me to see whether I can get you included as an observer? No questions to be asked, it's just an opportunity to watch the committee at work.

Meetings start at 10am and last approximately 1.30 hours.
 

Scottie Dog

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The following notes were made during this morning's presentation by Karen Smart (Manchester Airport Managing Director) to the Manchester Airport Consultative Committee.

Just a quick update on some points that might be of interest to the group.

  • Karen confirmed that both TUI and Jet2 are not planning to restart operations before the end of March.
  • Only flights operating are the ME3, some UK domestics
  • T2 is now unlikely now to open before Easter and the airport will need 4 weeks to "bring it to live operational status"
  • Q2 (April-June) is now unlikely to see figures much above 50% of 2019 and it will be only struggling to get above the 50% from July onwards.
  • Karen was cagey about a new trans-Atlantic carrier as she wasn't certain whether the details were in the public domain!!
  • New T2 images will be available shortly and I have asked that I be provided with copies of them.
  • A committee member asked as to whether, with such a low footfall, the airport might take the opportunity to replace travellators and fix leaks in the immigration hall. The answer to the first was that with the losses that the airport is making at the present time it is not a top priority. The water leaks are being investigated but are proving hard to trace.
 

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I do have some photos of the inside of T2, courtesy of the airport, however I am awaiting approval to share them on any forums. I'm a firm believer in not
'pushing my luck', as good contacts are to be nurtured and not damaged, and so I'm afraid you will need to await the approval - sorry to be a spoilsport, but that's life. All I can say is that the images will hopefully be enjoyed by you all shortly.
 

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Photos now uploaded to:

 

Scottie Dog

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The next meeting if the MACC is this Friday 23rd May at 10am.

The meeting is online via Microsoft Teams. If anybody would like to attend, strictly as an observer with no input permitted, please send me a PM, by midnight Wednesday 21st, and I'll try to get you an invite to the link.
 

Scottie Dog

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I do apologise to anybody who might have wanted to attend the virtual MACC meeting which I inadvertently stated as being on 23rd May - was should have read 23rd April!! As my teacher would have said "Scottie Dog should try harder".

Anyway here is what Karen Smith had to say about MANTP

MANCHESTER TRANSFORMATION

• Following a review of our forecasted passenger volumes and latest government
statements regarding international travel, we have decided to revise the opening date of
the Terminal 2 extension to no earlier than 21st June
• This date balances operating costs with passenger demand
• We are currently finalising a ‘go-live plan’ which has time built in for all of the activities
which need to take place ahead of opening including Trails and familiarisation.
 

[email protected]

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I do apologise to anybody who might have wanted to attend the virtual MACC meeting which I inadvertently stated as being on 23rd May - was should have read 23rd April!! As my teacher would have said "Scottie Dog should try harder".

Anyway here is what Karen Smith had to say about MANTP

MANCHESTER TRANSFORMATION

• Following a review of our forecasted passenger volumes and latest government
statements regarding international travel, we have decided to revise the opening date of
the Terminal 2 extension to no earlier than 21st June
• This date balances operating costs with passenger demand
• We are currently finalising a ‘go-live plan’ which has time built in for all of the activities
which need to take place ahead of opening including Trails and familiarisation.

Any updates on the "go live plan" and given that we should expect to see more countries added to the green list by end of June and July, can there be a clearer justification by then for finally opening T2X?

I have also heard stories about T3 not opening until summer 2022...but surly once Ryanair increase their flights during the summer months, there would be a justification there for the reopening? Or if the majority of airlines move over to T2X, then Ryanair and Easyjet could stay in T1 alone...?
 

Scottie Dog

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I have now received some data through from the meeting, however I need to read it first on my laptop to check for any confidential data, and at present in just on my mobile. Hopefully I can post details tomorrow.

In the meantime the next meeting is on 15th October, so make a note in your diary if you're interested in attending.
 

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Yes
Doesn't MAN usually publish the minutes of its consultative committee meetings on its website, with anything of a confidential nature appropriately edited?
 

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The problem is that I receive the details via another source and before the minutes are published on the website hence my need to just be check what I've been sent. Hopefully I've post details this afternoon.
 

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The following is taken from the Managing Director's report to the Manchester Airport Consultative Committee at their meeting on 16th July.

Some charts have not displayed well when copied from the original documents, however there is really nothing of great excitement that has been missed!

1. INTRODUCTION
This paper highlights major issues affecting the business, updates members on the current level of airport activity and outlines service delivery measures and improvements.
2. GOVERNMENT ENGAGEMENT AND POLICY
Global Travel Taskforce: The Global Travel Taskforce report was published in April outlining the traffic light system, with the 17th May given as the earliest date possible for the restart of international travel. The Government also introduced a ‘green watchlist’ where countries that may be at risk of going from green to amber will be added to avoid last minute holiday changes. The Government also set out three ‘checkpoints’ to review restrictions throughout the year – 28th June, 31st July and 1st October.
Traffic Light System: In early May the Government published the categorisation of countries in the traffic light system ahead of international travel re-starting on the 17th May. Initially only 12 countries and territories were included in the ‘green list’, of which only Portugal represented a major UK travel market. The Government committed to 3-week reviews of the traffic light lists and, in its first review on 3 June, removed Portugal from the green list with less than a weeks’ notice – without using the ‘green watchlist’. On 24 June, the Government added new destinations to the green list including Malta, Barbados and the Balearic Islands, and announced it would look to introduce an exemption from quarantine for fully-vaccinated passengers; no detail has been given about the timeframe for introducing this policy, which is already widespread in Europe.
Legal Challenge: In June, MAG launched a legal challenge calling for transparency in the Government’s handling of its traffic light system. The move is backed by five major UK airlines who are interested parties in the legal action: Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic, IAG, easyJet and TUI. A court date has now been scheduled for a hearing on Friday 9 July.
Managed Quarantine System: The Government ‘red list’ of countries that require mandatory hotel quarantine for any travellers returning to the UK currently stands at 56 countries. Red list passengers must arrive in the UK at one of a small number of designated ports, which currently does not include any MAG airports. We have been engaging with Government on how the MQS could work at our airports.
Border Force: We have been working closely with UK Border Force and the Home Office to discuss capacity and resourcing at the border in preparation for increasing passenger numbers as restrictions ease over the summer period. Queuing times are currently being managed well, and we are working together with UKBF to look at resourcing levels for July and August. Queue times have also been measurably improved following UKBF upgrades to e-gates and the software used at staffed desks.
Parliamentary Action: A general debate took place in the House of Commons on the 10th June on support for aviation, travel and tourism industries. MAG worked with local MPs to make representations on behalf of its airports. This engagement resulted in four MPs referencing the importance of Manchester Airport and using our briefing points in the chamber; the Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Huw Merriman MP, writing to the
Prime Minister and Home Secretary with our concerns; and a further 10 MPs offering their
help in other ways to support all three airports.
Travel Day of Action: MAG took part in the ‘Travel Day of Action’ on 23rd June. Local MPs engaged with social media activity, calling for the Government to support the aviation, travel and tourism industries further. We briefed several MPs, including at a protest on College
Green in Westminster, ahead of the scheduled Westminster Hall Debate on 24th June on support for aviation, travel and tourism industries. Several MPs made strong interventions aligned with MAG’s position, calling for the Government to be transparent with the traffic light system and to review current travel restrictions.
Business Rates: The Airport and Ground Operator Support Scheme provided £4m in support this year and £8m last year. Whilst this support is very welcome, it doesn’t cover the rates bill and is a fraction of what has been provided to other sectors. The Government has also halted all COVID-related appeals of business rates and is bringing forward primary legislation to retrospectively change the business rates appeals system for businesses. It has
said it will instead introduce a new rates relief fund worth £1.5bn to provide support for those businesses who need business rates support and haven't already had it directly from the government. This has a major impact for businesses like MAG who have submitted an appeal
and were assured of rebates due to changes in circumstances. MAG is working with DfT to understand how the new relief fund works and if MAG will be eligible.
Regional Engagement: MAG reached out to the newly and re-elected Mayors across the North. An introduction is planned with the Liverpool City Region team and regular engagement continues with Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority. A visit to the Airport is scheduled for Leader of Stockport Council and Economy Lead for Greater Manchester, Cllr Elise Wilson, in August.
Manchester Climate: MAG Chief of Staff, Tim Hawkins and CSR Director, Neil Robinson met with the Manchester Climate Change Partnership in May to discuss the revised Manchester Climate Change Framework. Progress has been made to align the partnership with the airport more closely. Work is also underway to host a visit for Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Cllr Tracey Rawlins.
Night Flight Restrictions Consultation: The Department for Transport has extended the deadline for its ‘night flight restriction’ consultation to September 2021. The consultation, which has previously been discussed with Members, is available on the Department for Transport website and will be discussed under MACC Agenda Item 3
3. PLANNING MATTERS
• Planning Bill and Environment Act – both announced in the Queen’s speech. Government looking to enact the Environment Act in the autumn which would (inter alia) legislate for all developments to demonstrate a Bio-diversity Net Gain. In preparation many authorities are preparing strategies to implement this either through guidance for how to provide that net gain on-site or how to pay contributions in order that it may be implemented
off-site. MAG has raised serious concerns with the authorities that the strategies we have seen to date have been silent on implications for aerodrome safeguarding, particularly the need to avoid the increase in bird-strike hazard close to the airport.
• The Planning Bill is also scheduled to come forward in the Autumn and if the consultation version is anything to go by represents a seismic restructuring of the planning system. MAG was critical of many aspects of the consultation and the report of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee issued in May (and following the Queen’s speech) echoed many of those criticisms. We will monitor developments and closely review any proposals, sharing our views with the Committee.
• Greater Manchester Spatial Framework – The 9 GM Authorities minus Stockport MBC have agreed to a scheme of joint working to proceed with a Plan, now entitled ‘Places for Everyone’, Timings yet to be formally announced but we understand that they are likely to be consulting on a revised plan during August and September.
• Cheshire East Site Allocations and Development Management Plan – Notification of the likely timing for a Hearing into this plan has been received from the Planning Inspectorate (September/October). MAG raised objections to the Aircraft Noise policy (Policy ENV 13 Aircraft Noise), but following meetings with officers to clarify matters we have advised the Inspectorate that we do not wish to appear at the Hearing and consider our objection to have been addressed.
• Airport or near Airport developments – Global Logistics is nearing its full build-out, subject to a further phase progressing through the forementioned Places for Everyone plan which would seek to release further green belt land to facilitate this expansion. Airport City North: THG HQ building looking to commence on-site shortly on land between Enterprise Way and Ringway Road West; work to discharge planning conditions to allow for a start-on-site for an Accor Group ‘Tribe’ Hotel and land to the rear of the Station; Holiday Inn and Ibis hotels progressing well on the site of the former T2 petrol station for a likely opening March ’22.
4. MANCHESTER TRANSFORMATION
• Following a review of our forecast passenger volumes and latest government statements
regarding international travel, T2 will open on July 14th.
• MAG has agreed a staggered launch of the terminal with its partners. It will see Jet2 start flying on July 14th from there with just three flights on the first day – to Menorca, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca followed by TUI on July 15th who will operate flights with services to a range of destinations including green-listed Malta and Madeira.
• Once the Government has updated the red, amber, green lists and clarified exemption over double vaccinated passengers from quarantine then MAG will make further decisions on the full opening of the terminal seeing more airlines move across with more retailers and food & beverage outlets confirming launch dates
5. OPERATIONAL DATA
On Time Performance (OTP)
On Time Performance (OTP), by departing aircraft, is determined by many factors; these may be airline, weather, airport related, en-route or from the destination airport. On a month-by-month basis performance was as follows:
 April 2021 - Departing OTP: 93.9%, Departing First Wave OTP: 88.9%
 May 2021 – Departing OTP: 88.6%, Departing First Wave OTP: 90.3%
 June 2021 – Departing OTP: 93.6%, Departing First Wave OTP: 95.4%
Against the OTP departure target of 75%, performance has been very positive. Lower flight volumes are driving the much improved OTP performance due to reduction in airspace delays. As a comparison, April 2019 performance was 76.0%, May 2019 was 74.3%, and June 2019 was 68.8%.
6. OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT – ROUTES AND SERVICES UPDATE
• Carriers operating from “red listed” countries continued to operate outbound passenger services in June, namely Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, and Ethiopian Airlines. All flights inbound carried cargo only.
• Jet2.com re-started operations on 1st July. The airline is planning on an unusually short 3-week cycle, so it’s likely that there will be changes to the later part of the month.
• EasyJet has added capacity after the announcement on green listed countries and will operate 160k seats capacity in July.
• Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific announced the reopening of their MAN flights. SQ will start mid-July, but CX’s starting date is depending on the HKG authorities to open for UK traffic.
7. CAR PARKING & SURFACE ACCESS
• Construction has started for the four covid testing facilities at MAN. One will be located at the Ground Transport Interchange (GTI), with a second to follow in Terminal 2. There will be a further two drive-through sites at site 350 and Jet Parks Ringway.
• Rail services: A revised timetable for services to and from Manchester Airport is under development following the work of the Manchester Recovery Taskforce, and the representations made by MAG and other Greater Manchester partners of the importance of direct connectivity. As further details are released, we will continue to monitor the impacts upon the Airport and seek to ensure connectivity is retained wherever possible.
• High-speed rail: plans for the high-speed rail station at Manchester Airport to serve HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail plus Metrolink continue to develop. However, government’s overall strategy for high-speed rail in the North & Midlands, in the form of its Integrated Rail Plan, is still to be published. This should be released prior to the summer recess of Parliament, and MAG will review this document carefully to understand its implications for Manchester Airport (and also for East Midlands Airport).
• Despite this delay, the hybrid Bill for HS2 is continuing to be developed jointly by HS2 Ltd and the government, with the intention to submit to Parliament by early 2022. MAG and other Greater Manchester partners are actively engaged with HS2 Ltd, Transport for the North (TfN) and government on the inputs to the Bill to ensure these meet local needs, including those of the Airport. A high-level meeting is to be held with senior government officials in July to discuss the best way forward in reaching a suitable agreement. If any areas remain where agreement is not reached, MAG is able to make representations during the Parliamentary process leading to the bill’s approval.
8. MOBILITY SERVICES
Total PRM numbers fell slightly in April, but have risen steadily in May, followed by a large uptick in June. Although total passenger numbers have grown, the percentage of PRM passengers has fallen and now sits at under 2%. Despite this, the peak day in June saw 203 PRMs, which is more than double the peak figure seen in Q1.
Issues seen in Q1 with unusually low pre-notification figures of circa 50% have reduced as levels of pre-notification continue to climb back towards pre-pandemic levels of 70%. Currently prenotification is around 60-65%. This is mainly due to increased schedules from Ryanair and EasyJet who historically maintain high levels of pre-notification, along with the withdrawal of services from Pakistan following Red list designation in April. Although the BA
Heathrow service has seen the largest number of PRM’s for Q2, there has been strong demand from PRM customers for destinations such as Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife.
The CAA paused its Quality Standards rating of UK Airports during the pandemic, but this is due to recommence towards the end of the year. The performance of our contractor ABM has remained strong with The CAA’s targets, as set out in CAP1228 being exceeded across all metrics. The strong operational performance has been matched by a Guest satisfaction score of 4.0/5, which is classified as “Very Good” under the CAA Quality Standards, although this has been generated from a much lower response base due to the wider reduction in passenger volumes.
The next Airport Accessibility Forum is planned for September and the desire is for the meeting to be held onsite and focused on the opening of Terminal 2. The last Forum was held in February, although this was an online-only event.
10. CUSTOMER SERVICE & SECURITY ISSUES
Between April and June 2021, the time taken to respond to customers varied between two and five working days. This illustrates a steady team performance when compared to the previous reporting period. In terms of volume, we have seen an increase in all types of feedback month-on-month.
Enquires specifically have increased exponentially, following various Government announcements.
The topic of feedback in April was consistent with the comments received in March. This was mainly questions related to travel restrictions and booking amendment/cancellation requests.
In May, total feedback volume increased 40%, this was partly attributable to an IT System outage that resulted in several people missing their flights. The team performed very well to meet service level agreements and minimise the reputational and financial impact on the business when resolving these cases.
On 28th May, we took the decision to cancel all T1 Escape bookings up until 14th June, all T2 Escape & 1903 bookings until 22nd June. An apology was sent to all affected customers, however, some customers travelling as early as 1st June were impacted by this late decision. In July, the growth in the number of enquires raised heavily outweighed the increase in the number of complaints. Cancelling and amending product bookings accounted more than a third of all cases.
There were distinct issues around customers reserving their car parking via Ryanair, as these bookings are non-amendable and non-cancellable.
A few tales of positive experience are included below.
• “My Mum required special assistance due to her developing viral arthritis in the weeks before travelling, reducing her mobility, hence the request for help. Whilst she is able to physically walk, long distances cause her discomfort and therefore distress but the plane steps would have been an ask too far. The gentleman assigned to helping Mum was called John. He was just so professional, friendly, cheery, efficient and helpful that he really did instil our faith in human nature because trust me 7 out of 10 people you meet whether in a professional capacity or otherwise, leave you feeling like you wish you hadn't bothered...It felt to us like John genuinely likes dealing with people as he helped us so effortlessly. So please, pass on our huge thanks to John. and well done Manchester Airport for employing him. Our experiences at Leeds Bradford have been fraught with hassle and staff that would be better placed dealing with tin cans than humans, so offhand are so many of them. Once again - many many thanks”
• “Thank you for the prompt and efficient return of booking fee, due to the Govt's ban on flying etc. This horrendous situation for us travellers must be twice as bad for your company and staff, as your livelihood depends on travellers. We are already booked to fly from Manchester airport in December, fingers crossed for all concerned, this madness is behind us and we can travel again. Once again, many thanks for a superb service.”
• “Hello. I recently had to change flights due to covid rules and this meant also having to change car park entry and exit times. Having tried unsuccessfully to do this online I used the feedback form to ask for assistance. The matter was dealt with by James, surname unknown, and he dealt with issue in a very professional manner. He was courteous throughout and clearly explained the steps he had taken. He is a credit to your customer services team and I just wanted to thank him once again for his assistance.”

E-Gates have been closed since 15th February due to new COVID regulations coming into force. All passengers need to be seen by a Border Force Officer to check COVID documentation and establish recent travel history.
11. COMMUNITY MATTERS
The next Community Trust Fund will take place on July 26th. To date 11 applications have been received. An update will be provided at the MACC meeting in October. Colleagues continue to support Covid activities and assisting at vaccination centres in April & May over 500 volunteering hours were given.
The Trafford College team has delivered Disciplinary and Grievance Training to 140 Manchester Colleagues.
In April and May the Manchester Academy held an outplacement events for colleagues impacted by recent redundancies. Since December 2020 the Academy team have hosted nine virtual outplacement events and supported over 300 MAG colleagues. The virtual events were delivered in partnership with Trafford College, Job Centre Plus, Unite the Union and offered guidance on a range of free training and upskilling services offered at the
Academy, redundancy support and external recruitment opportunities. There were talks by a range of organisations including the National Careers Service and by a number of local employers with live vacancies including the Hut Group, NHS and SKY. In addition to the regular events, we continued to support the impacted colleagues through vacancy lists, virtual ‘drop in’ sessions and promotion of local events that are supporting local recruitment.
The Manchester Academy continues to offer free Level 2 e-learning courses. These are available to all MAG colleagues as well as on-site employees and wider community. The online courses present an ideal opportunity to upskill and enable colleagues to learn at their own pace and focus on areas that they want to develop. All courses are free and nationally accredited and range from Customer Services training to Mental Health Awareness, Principles of Team Leading to Digital Skills and many others. Since April 564 people have signed up for one of the courses
12. MANCHESTER AIRPORT IN THE NEWS
MACC Q2 – PR AND MEDIA
Throughout the pandemic, our Press Office team has continued to support the operation, whilst using the media to seek to influence Government decisions and policy. Quarter Two has presented a range of challenges, as mixed messaging and frequent changes of course from Government have required an agile, fluid, and at times robust communications response. Nevertheless, we have managed to generate almost 400 pieces of coverage across the quarter and have succeeded in getting frequent broadcast airtime for our messages.
The return of three-weekly reviews of travel restrictions are generating interest on a rolling basis from regional and national print and broadcast media. We have harnessed this interest to ensure we get continued exposure for our position on and Government decisions. This has involved selecting media
bids that we feel will have the greatest impact and accommodating interview requests wherever feasible and advantageous.
Although route launches / relaunches have been sparse over the past three months, there have been a handful which we have helped to promote, including Singapore Airline’s planned return this month.
Highlighting the growing number of services returning is a key part of rebuilding consumer confidence and we will continue to work with airlines to maximise exposure for these announcements.
Monthly Highlights/Activity:
April

Global Travel Taskforce
On 9th April, the UK Government announced plans for international travel to resume on 17th May under a traffic light system, on the basis of the Global Travel Taskforce’s recommendations. We shared a Group statement with our regional and trade media, gaining coverage with key outlets including the Manchester Evening News, BBC Radio Manchester and Business Live.
Messaging was broadly welcoming of the announcement that a risk-based approach would be applied but questioned why there was not a fourth category with no restrictions, as per last summer’s travel corridors.
Manchester Evening News (MEN) feature – ‘How MAN has changed through pandemic’
Ahead of the Government announcement, the Press Office was contacted by the MEN with regards to a feature it was planning to run on the impact of the pandemic on the airport. The feature included commentary from a Marketing and Tourism lecturer at Salford University and a frequent flyer who had his next flight booked in June.
The Press Office worked with the reporter to ensure that impacts of the pandemic and restrictions / measures in place were reported accurately, and that our key messaging and Government asks were included in the form of a comment.
Union consultation
In mid-April MAG announced to colleagues that an agreement had been reached in principle with unions for the next 12 months with pay scaled between 80%, 90 and 100% dependent on hours worked and no further redundancies for the duration of the furlough scheme.
Word of this reached an MEN reporter who approached the Press Office for confirmation of the agreement – we worked with the reporter on ensuring the story was accurate and ensured our comments fairly reflected all aspects of the deal.
Community Trust Fund (CTF) – beneficiary interview
Following our press release on the latest CTF donations in March, BBC Radio Manchester contacted us regarding arranging an interview with one of the beneficiaries. Ultimately, we were able to set this up with Mottram Cricket Club, whose captain was very complimentary about the CTF and delighted
with the difference the funding would make.
Wolfe filming
On 30 April, we welcomed a production company filming scenes for a new Sky One crime drama called Wolfe. They were on site for most of the day recording content in Terminal Two check-in, including in the terminal extension, and on the Skylink. This will air in the autumn.
May
Airport City – new hotels
Our colleagues at Airport City announced that construction had finished on the new Ibis Budget and Holiday Inn, which are due to open in early 2022. We supported in producing and distributing a press release to regional, business and trade outlets, which received coverage from a dozen or so outlets
including key titles like the MEN, Business Live and Business Insider North West.
17th May – resumption of travel
As the traffic light system came into effect, we hosted TV crews including BBC Breakfast, Sky News, BBC North West and ITV Granada on site. We also welcomed radio reporters from outlets such as BBC Radio Manchester and Hits Radio. The Press Office team was on hand to facilitate and co-ordinate, also briefing reporters to ensure our messaging around the need for a more meaningful restart came across.
After ministers offered contradictory takes on what the new system meant in media interviews, we assisted in distributing a group statement from the MAG CEO criticising the Government for undermining its own guidance and reiterating the need for clarity. This was picked up by a range of
regional and trade outlets.
RVP Summer Programme
We also supported the Runway Visitor Park in highlighting its programme of summer events, sharing a press release with targeted regional media with the aim of gaining coverage in their lifestyle / ‘What’s On’ pages. Outlets including the Lancashire Post and Congleton Chronicle ran with this story.
MAN-TP preparations
In anticipation of the Terminal Two extension’s opening, we worked up a media strategy, which would see press releases on retail offerings and new lounges for consumer audiences, and the work of our construction partners for trade media, issued in the build-up to the launch event.
The reopening of Terminal Two has been paused due to the lack of progress made by Government in unlocking international travel, but the Press Office has pushed ahead with finalising these plans and drafting content so that this can be rolled out when needed.
Europa & Champions League Finals
Manchester United and Manchester City flew out to Poland and Portugal respectively in the space of four days at the end of May, as they competed in the major European tournament finals. Unfortunately, both clubs lost their respective finals, but media interest was intense. Fan flights put on by the clubs reached the national news agenda, given that this was the first major event hosted in a green list country and attended by large numbers of travelling Brits, and as such, the first big test for the effectiveness of the new traffic light system.
We welcomed regional and national broadcast media to site in the build-up to the finals, and they conducted interviews with fans, covering, among other topics, the travel arrangements. We had made plans, working with the clubs, for media to be present on the players’ return to Manchester if they had won, but as this didn’t happen, we kept media away as the squads arrived back.
June
3rd June - Portugal removal from green list
Portugal being moved from the green list at the first opportunity, in addition to no further countries or territories being added, effectively closed international travel for leisure once again.
Media interest in this story was arguably stronger than on the resumption of international travel in May and broadcast media in particular were keen to speak to passengers who were due to travel to, or return from, Portugal. We welcomed regional and national crews from the BBC, ITV and Sky News, in
addition to a number of radio reporters, and arranged interviews with myself and Tim for those on site,
as well as remote interviews for the likes of Times Radio and BBC 5 Live.
We also shared the Group statement calling on Government for transparency with our regional and trade contacts and ultimately secured more than 50 pieces of coverage, with most incorporating our key messages and government asks.
The statement highlighted the fact Government wasn’t following its own system, its total lack of transparency around the data it was using and showcased other destinations that should have been on the green list.
Legal challenge
The Press Office supported the announcement of a legal challenge, led by MAG with five airlines as Interested Parties, to obtain access to data used by Government to make decisions on countries’ traffic light status.
We shared the Group press release with our regional and trade media lists and received around 30 pieces of coverage from targeted outlets. We also helped facilitate interviews with MAG colleagues.
Singapore Airlines announcement On 8th June, Singapore Airlines announced that it would be resuming its Manchester – Singapore service from 17th July. The Press Office provided a comment for inclusion in Singapore Airlines’ press release, welcoming the news and highlighting the importance of Singapore’s green-listing in bringing the service back. We also distributed the press release to regional and trade media on the airline’s behalf.
We secured 26 pieces of coverage in total with a combined reach of more than 84m.
easyJet domestic routes
We also supported easyJet in announcing the launch of routes from Manchester to Aberdeen and Edinburgh, with the addition of 40k in seating capacity on its route to Belfast.
Again, we provided a comment for their press release and helped with its distribution, securing 27 pieces of coverage.
Travel Industry Day of Action
The Press Office team came together with colleagues from across the corporate affairs team to coordinate activities for the Travel Industry Day of Action on 23rd June. This included welcoming crews from broadcasters including BBC North West TV, ITV Granada and The Hits Radio, and facilitating interviews. We also shared a Group press release with our regional audiences and highlighted video content produced by the internal communications team to broadcasters, which resulted in excerpts being used in a BBC News Channel report.
On social media we posted in real time the flight schedule from two years ago to showcase how much traffic has reduced during the pandemic.
24th June – Green list extended
After the Government announced the addition of a number of new territories to the green list on 24th June, including the Balearics and Malta, we again welcomed media crews including ITV News and GB News to site. I also did interviews for BBC Radio Manchester and North West Tonight, with both
providing opportunities to get our Government asks across and highlight key messages, including debunking the often-quoted figure of £7bn government support.
We also shared a Group comment via our media centre and handled queries from regional print and trade media.
Expansion of testing centres on site
We ended the month by announcing we were increasing the provision of testing services at . The new services, which include the appointment of a new partner, Randix, begin in July.
A Group press release was sent to national media, given STN and EMA were also increasing sites. A Manchester specific release went to local media to let passengers know of the new products and services available.
Priorities for Q3 2021 will include;
Gaining airtime and exposure for our key messaging and Government asks around transparency over decision making, a meaningful resumption of international travel as quickly as possible, and the need for further industry specific support;
Supporting airlines and other partners in communicating launches / relaunches of services over the summer season;
Finalising and delivering our MANTP comms strategy as we count down towards the opening of the Terminal Two extension.
 
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