Manchester Business School’s Professor Michael Luger was interviewed for BBC’s North West Tonight programme this week following the announcement of the £1 billion investment at Manchester Airport.
The investment is the largest modernisation project in its history, with the sum to be spent over the next 10 years to create a ‘world class international gateway’. An improvement in customer experience will be seen by existing passengers and hopes to attract many more.
Professor Luger talked about the significance of the investment in the airport, that already had a competitive advantage. He noted that Manchester Airport is the only airport to compare to Heathrow with its two runways; Manchester is becoming a competitor for Heathrow with a capacity to serve up to 50 million passengers a year.
He said the current passengers – 22 million annually – are a huge source of economic development benefit to the airport and the area, bringing revenue and creating numerous jobs. In fact, passengers bring £1.8 billion annually in economic development benefit. According to Professor Luger, the increase in the size of the airport and the level of service will lead to an improvement in benefits for those who use it.
Professor Luger also touched on neighbouring airport, Liverpool Airport. He sees Liverpool Airport not as a competitor to Manchester Airport, but a brand with its own niche, that will maintain its own important role whilst Manchester Airport receives modernisation.
The investment in the airport is a key part of the ‘Northern Hub’ and Northern Powerhouse, said Professor Luger. Manchester Airport already has a fantastic train, bus and tram connection system that attracts passengers from all over the North. The investment will make it even easier for passengers to get to their favourite destinations and will enhance Manchester’s international gateway status.