A Manchester Airport spokesperson said about the Dispatches episode: “‘The whole aviation industry has faced challenges in recovering from the pandemic, but we have worked hard once the start of the year to prepare for the peak summer season. For our part, we have recruited more than 600 new staff into our security operation and nearly 300 more are due to start work in the weeks ahead.
“This means we have not had to ask our airlines to cancel large numbers of flights, protecting the holidays of more than 3m people who will travel through Manchester Airport this summer. We are confident that, thanks to the progress we have made, the over-whelming majority will have a positive experience. As an example, in the last week more than 95% of passengers got through security in under 30 minutes.
“While there will be moments when we, or our airlines, ground handlers and other partners, continue to face challenges due to our ongoing recovery, it is our view that Dispatches gave an inaccurate impression of the current state of operations and the experience that passengers will receive in the coming weeks.
“The undercover footage within Swissports baggage operation was several weeks old, as were almost all the case studies and mobile phone videos used. Many of the Issues highlighted in the programme related to airports other than Manchester. Despite several requests, we were refused a right to reply and not given the opportunity to challenge or factually correct any of the claims made. This prevented us from outlining the improvements made in recent months and risks unnecessarily misleading viewers about what to expect when they travel this summer.
“We apologise to any customers who have faced disruption during our recovery, and want to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work and dedication throughout.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
New stations appear across Manchester for city’s rentable ‘Burnham bike’ scheme
The roll-out of Greater Manchester’s Bee Bike cycle hire scheme has stepped up a gear, with new docking stations appearing across the city centre.
The scheme, nicknamed the ‘Burnham bikes’ as a nod to London’s ‘Boris bikes’, initially launched in Salford and along the Oxford Road corridor.
Several new yellow stations have appeared around Manchester now, with plenty more on the way.
The next phase of the roll-out of the Bee Bikes has seen stations installed around St Peter’s Square and Manchester Central.
By the time the scheme is complete, bike numbers will increase to 1,500, which will include 300 e-bikes.
It’s all part of the vision for a Bee Network – a joined-up, integrated public transport network across the region.
And it’s certainly off to a more successful start than Mobike, which famously withdrew from Manchester due to high levels of vandalism and theft.
The Bee Bikes are funded by TgGM and operated by Beryl, which runs similar schemes in London, Watford and Bournemouth.
Richard Nickson, programme director, Cycling and Walking at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “The cycle hire scheme has really taken off in Greater Manchester since it was first introduced, and we are seeing significant numbers of riders and distances travelled by on the bikes- which is fantastic, particularly as we are still in the early days of the scheme’s roll out.
“The next phase of the roll-out has now started in Manchester city centre, with new stations installed at key locations including Manchester Central Library, Manchester Central Convention Centre and St Peter’s Square.
Manchester is OFFICIALLY in the running to host Eurovision
The potential host cities for Eurovision 2023 have been announced this morning – and Manchester is officially in with a chance.
The UK has stepped in to host the global singing contest in place of this year’s winners, Ukraine.
As our nation was runner-up this year with Sam Ryder’s Spaceman giving us our biggest success in years, it’s over to the UK to welcome all the countries taking part.
Cities have been announcing their bids for several weeks, with 20 expressions of interest to host sent in.
But it’s a complicated event, so those who wish to host need to actually have a suitable venue and the financial contribution too, and demonstrate that they will celebrate and honour Ukrainian culture and artists.
The shortlist of seven cities has just been announced live on BBC Radio Two, on Zoe Ball’s breakfast show.
The full shortlist for the cities that may host Eurovision in 2023:
If Manchester is successful, Eurovision will take place at the AO Arena in the city centre, Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig has announced.
She said: “We are thrilled to have made it through to the next stage to become the 2023 Eurovision host city.
“Manchester stands ready to put on the biggest party in the UK at the city’s AO Arena, taking our place in Eurovision’s unique history.
“We have a large and proud Ukrainian community in Manchester. It would be our privilege to host this iconic celebration on their behalf and we will do everything we can to honour them throughout.”
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor.
“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
The final decision will be based on scoring criteria from the BBC and the EBU.
It’s expected that the host city will officially be announced in the autumn.