Manchester Airport has issued fresh travel advice to passengers, but promises that hundreds of new staff are on the way.
After what had been weeks of travel bedlam at the UK’s third largest airport, with many hit by cancellations and long waits of up to 90 minutes or more due to staff shortages, and after Manchester Airport bosses had previously spoken out to warn that the chaos could continue “over the next few months”, it’s now been confirmed that dozens of new staff have already been hired and hundreds more are currently going through the security training and vetting process.
In the lead-up to the peak summer holiday season, Manchester Airport has provided a progress update on its recruitment drive, and is also reminding passengers of its travel advice.
Bosses at the airport say it is “continuing to recover at pace” post-pandemic following the removal of international travel restrictions, and that passenger volumes have now grown back to 79% of pre-pandemic levels – but this means the airport is now serving around three times more passengers each week than it was in January.
While this “strong recovery” has been identified as a contributor to the long queues and delays, the shortage of staff numbers was something the airport was keen to rectify.
With demand returning rapidly, the airport says it has been working hard to recruit hundreds of new security officers, and improve the efficiency of how it deploys the people already working in the operation, as well as bring in new measures to “improve the airport experience” for customers and staff.
To date, more than 8,000 applications have been received for roles including security officers, car park marshals, and hospitality staff, and in the last month alone, more than 1,600 people have applied for jobs and more than 500 people are currently going through background checks and security training.
Around 200 new starters are expected to join the operation at Manchester this month, which airport bosses say enables them to open additional security lanes during peak periods and improve customer service.
This recruitment drive and a range of other measures have improved the customer experience in recent weeks, with 90% of passengers in the last two weeks getting through security in less than 30 minutes, up significantly from 78% in the first two weeks of April.
While the airport is still admittedly experiencing longer queues at times – which the airport says is working with partner organisations, including UK Border Force, airlines and ground handlers, to address – these are said to be happening less frequently and they are also being cleared relatively quickly.
“We want to make sure that customers get away on their travels, so everyone at Manchester Airport is focused on bringing in the extra resources we need to continue operating our full flight schedule,” said Ian Costigan, Interim Managing Director of Manchester Airport.
“It is encouraging to see new staff joining us as a result of our ongoing recruitment drive, and we have seen security waiting times reduce in recent weeks”.
He added that ensuring passengers move through the airport quickly and easily is the airport’s “ultimate goal.”
Reiterating its travel advice, the airport is urging passengers to arrive three hours before their flights, but is asking people not to come any earlier than this because they will not be able to check-in with their airlines, which could cause “unnecessary waits in the terminals”. Leaving a three-hour window will enable people to pass through security and make their flights.
Passengers who have not flown for a long time are also being urged to refamiliarise themselves with the security rules.
Featured Image – Manchester Airport
The Japanese takeaway with a Michelin-trained chef serving a secret omakase menu out back
Good sushi is a hard thing to find in Manchester nowadays. To be honest, ever since the demise of Umezushi, it has felt out of reach.
Average sushi, however, is suddenly available in abundance thanks to an explosive proliferation of trendy, if soulless, Pan Asian restaurants.
You know the sort. The spots with the claggy, dried-out rice on ostentatious platters, whose chefs stuff cream cheese into the middle of their maki, or disguise its lack of freshness with cascading waterfalls of dry ice.
These spots, with their fake flower walls and neon signs that scream “Pick me!” seem, depressingly, to be taking over. So it’s with relish I can reassure you at least one place in Manchester city centre is doing its bit to remind us what real sushi should actually taste like.
Even better, it’s entirely missing the gaudy flamboyance of Manchester’s glitzy Pan Asian sushi scene – so if, like me, you’re not into superficial sushi, you should feel right at home here.
I’m talking about One Sushi, formerly known as Ikkan – a tiny Japanese takeaway shop on Oxford Road filled with little more than a few wooden counters and a cash desk topped with metallic maneki-neko, or beckoning cat.
Opened last year by the team behind China Buffet, a popular Chinese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown, its takeaway cabinets are stuffed with California and red dragon rolls, deep-fried ebi, and various tempting combo platters.
These lovingly packaged takeaway morsels are already considered by sushi fiends in the know to be amongst best in the city, but – whilst they are really good – they are nothing compared to what is coming off the kitchen’s near-invisible pass.
Hidden at the back by a blue flag featuring the One Sushi logo and rolling waves that resemble Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hokusai’s famous Great Wave off Kanagawa print, it’s here that you will reconsider whether you’ve ever really had a good piece of sushi before in your life.
Prepare to be blown away.
We’re talking otoro belly tuna, A5 seared wagyu steak (that’s the highest grade you can get), sweet Japanese scallops and prawns, all prepared right in front of you by master sushi chef Eddie who trained at two Michelin star Hong Kong restaurant Zuicho.
All the fish here is super fresh, and the entire style of the menu is down to chef Eddie – meaning he chooses for you, preparing the best of the best from that day.
Priced at £58 per person, Eddie can accommodate up to four people at once for this incredible omakase sushi experience. There’s really nowhere like it in Manchester for this price, in fact the only other place where you can go to experience something like this will set you back at least £200.
For sushi lovers, this is a dream come true.
Featured image – The Manc Group
Manchester United confirm Antony will return to training following assault allegations
Manchester United winger Antony is heading back to training amid his multiple assault allegations.
Antony‘s case is still ongoing, with a total of three women coming out to accuse him of domestic abuse — chiefly, his ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, who was first to raise concerns surrounding his alleged behaviour — but his cooperation through the investigation has led them to revise their position.
Issuing an update on Friday morning confirming that the forward with be brought back into the fold until the situation is resolved.
A club statement reads as follows: “Since allegations were first made in June, Antony has co-operated with police inquiries in both Brazil and the UK, and he continues to do so.
“As Antony’s employer, Manchester United has decided that he will resume training at Carrington, and be available for selection, while police inquiries proceed. This will be kept under review pending further developments in the case.
“As a club, we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
Erik ten Hag‘s side plays their second game against Crystal Palace in less than a week after beating them 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and while it is not thought Antony will be brought straight back into the team, he will be available for selection moving forward.
United currently sit ninth in the Premier League with three wins and three losses to their name.