Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has said it is confident of a strong recovery in 2022 after Omicron restrictions on travel were removed last week.
Before temporary restrictions were introduced in November and December, MAG airports were seeing a stronger recovery than other UK airports.
According to data from November, the group was serving around 60 per cent of pre-pandemic traffic, with London Stansted recovering at the fastest rate overall.
However, figures for December released today showed that overall traffic was down by 55 per cent compared to the same month in 2019, as a result of testing requirements put in place in response to the Omicron variant.
This meant traffic fell by around 30 per cent month-on-month due to the increased cost and uncertainty created by the restrictions.
Despite this, the group – which owns Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports – has seen bookings surge in the days following the news that pre-departure and day two PCR testing would be removed.
The airport operator is now looking towards the year ahead and is confident that recovery will continue on a positive trajectory.
It is expecting to see traffic “much closer” to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the summer season.
MAG chief executive, Charlie Cornish, said: “Now that Omicron testing requirements have been removed, people are clearly excited about where they can travel this year.
“We are confident that the recovery will be strong as we head towards to the summer, and the sharp increase in bookings in recent days is hugely encouraging.”