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Birmingham airport unveils record passenger figures and multi million investment programme

By Simon Penfold | Business | Published:

Birmingham Airport has unveiled its best-ever set of passenger figures, as nearly 13 million people passed through the terminal of the Midlands gateway in 2017.

Birmingham Airport has unveiled plans for a multi-million pound investment

But it will struggle to match that in 2018, as the loss of Monarch and its 1.8 million passengers a year is set to punch a hole in this year's figures.

In total, 12,983,436 passengers travelled through the airport over the course of the calendar year, over 1.3 million more people than in 2016 giving a healthy increase of 11.5 per cent year on year.

The busiest month fell in August when almost 1.5 million passengers were recorded in a single month, up 16.2 per cent compared to the same month the year before. Over the course of the year, there were seven months in which over a million passengers were recorded and over 30 months of consecutive record breaking growth.

David Winstanley, chief operating officer at Birmingham Airport, said: “Last year we celebrated the busiest 12 months in our history.

“During 2017, we saw the launch of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays and the return of British Airways and bmi regional." Emireates introduced a second double-decker Airbus A380 on its service to Dubai.

“The year was indeed one of celebration but also commiseration as we sadly saw the demise of a long-established airline, Monarch. This airline carried an average of 5,000 passengers per day from Birmingham but we have seen some existing carriers and new carriers pick up almost all of this capacity already to reduce the impact on our passengers.”

The airport will also see a replacement to its lost transatlantic services in May, when Primera Air launches routes to Boston, New York and Toronto.

Meanwhile the airport has also announced a multi-million pound development project, due for completion before the summer season. This includes a redevelopment of the security processing area, new flooring, lighting and shopping facilities.

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It is intended to improve the experience of passengers passing through the airport terminal.

The works include redeveloping the security processing area to provide more boarding card gates, a dedicated security preparation area and a refreshed waiting area with new flooring and lighting.

Meanwhile additional staff are being recruited in key ‘customer facing’ areas, including terminal operations, customer relations and security officers.

David Winstanley said, “This investment follows record passenger growth and to ensure that we’re prepared for the coming summer period, when the airport will welcome new long-haul services to New York, Boston and Toronto, as well as many new popular short-haul destinations.

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“The service we give our customers is an absolute priority for us so we’re investing a great deal to improve the airport journey.”

The airport is also developing its retail and catering offer, with the recent opening of The Factory restaurant and the arrival of upmarket footwear brand Kurt Geiger to its airside shopping experience.

Later this spring, a new Bottega prosecco bar will open as well as wrapchic – an Indian inspired burrito and sandwich outlet.

A covered walkway to the terminal is also under construction for those walking to the terminal from the free drop off car park, and a new 178-guestroom Hilton Garden Inn hotel will open in the summer.

New digital wayfinding and signage will be introduced before the summer season.

The third biggest airport outside of London, Birmingham handles 13 million passengers a year with more than 150 direct scheduled & charter routes.

The latest development comes on top of £450 million spent over the last decade, including a runway extension and new control tower. Around 7,000 people now work on the airport site.

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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