[Evening Standard] The new owners of Stansted today launched a battle of the skies as they vowed to take passengers from Heathrow and Gatwick after competing the £1.5bn purchase of the Essex airport.

Manchester Group promises flights to 40 new long-haul destinations including the US, Caribbean and the Middle East.

Manchester Group promises flights to 40 new long-haul destinations including the US, Caribbean and the Middle East. Photo: Wikipedia

They promised to take the airport, traditionally a stronghold of budget airlines, into the premier league with flights to 40 new long-haul destinations including the US, Caribbean and the Middle East.

Owners Manchester Airport Group (MAG) pledged to double annual passenger numbers 35 million, build new stands for the A380 superjumbos and spend £40m on new shops.

But MAG insisted there were no imminent plans to build another runway at the Essex airport – even though it is being considered by mayor Boris Johnson as a site for a “super-airport” to solve the southeast’s aviation capacity crisis.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airport Group (MAG) said: “If we get the right level of customer experience and the right product, which is the right airlines flying the right planes at the right price, we will start to move volume around London. Some will always go to Heathrow and Gatwick but if it’s a strong product we hope to take volume not just from the north but the south” Mr Cornish said.

MAG calculates that 50 million people live within two hours’ drive of the Essex airport.

MAG purchased Stansted after Heathrow owner BAA was forced by the regulator to sell up to create more competition in the market.

The acquisition by MAG, which also own East Midlands and Bournemouth, includes a 35 per cent stake for…..

Read the full story at The Evening Standard…..

 


Evening Standard
Mar 1st, 2013


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