It’s been a long time coming – but after several delays, Manchester Airport is finally ready to officially unveil its new Terminal 2.
The first passengers are set to travel through the major ‘Super Terminal’ extension this week.
The extended terminal is the centrepiece of Manchester Airport Group’s (MAG) £1 billion Manchester Airport Transformation Programme, which was first announced in 2015 and was scheduled to open in the summer of 2020, until the COVID-19 pandemic ground international travel to a halt.
To ensure the smoothest possible opening when flying resumes, MAG has agreed a staggered launch of the new terminal with its airline partners.
It will see Jet2 start flying from there from 14 July – with just three flights on the first day to Menorca, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca – as well as TUI flights from 15 July, with services to a range of destinations including green-listed Malta and Madeira, and Singapore Airlines will move over on the 17th.
With the UK government set to update its traffic light travel system in due course, alongside the amber list quarantine exemption for double-vaccinated passengers being introduced from 19 July, further announcements about new flights from Terminal 2 are soon to follow.
So, what can travellers expect from the new terminal then?
According to MAG, the expanded terminal has a light, bright and airy check-in hall, with designs that set the tone for what passengers can expect throughout, as well as 10 new security areas that make use of the latest technology to allow people to flow through as quickly and easily as possible.
The new departure lounge features include a honeycomb light installation with 16 million settings that proudly illuminates the space and gives a nod to the famous Manchester worker bee.
Centre stage is an 81 square metre digital screen showing flight information.
The shops, cafes, bars and restaurants on offer – many hailing from the north, as well as a series of popular chains – have committed to serving customers at high street prices.
Initially, Pret-a-Manger, Costa Coffee, KFC, The Amber Alehouse and The Bridgewater Exchange by Joseph Holt will be open to customers, and Manchester institution Archie’s will open its new Terminal Two location on Thursday, as will juice bar VIT, while other venues will open once more passengers start using the terminal.
Two airport-operated lounges, with a combined capacity of 400, are based on the upper level with floor to ceiling windows giving passengers panoramic views over the airfield.
Passengers arriving into the hub will be met by a new immigration facility that’s four times larger than before, as well as a modern new baggage reclaim.
The new terminal will also be fully COVID-19 secure and will have a range of safety measures in place that have throughout the airport during the pandemic – including an enhanced cleaning and sanitising regime.
Speaking ahead of the terminal’s opening, Karen Smart – Managing Director of Manchester Airport – said: “After a long wait, we are delighted to confirm the first passengers will be able to enjoy our new Terminal Two this week [which] is a proud milestone for our airport as we begin to emerge from the restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, and an important moment in our 83-year history.
“This project was always about offering the modern airport experience that families and businesses across the north deserve as they travel through their international gateway to the world, and our new terminal certainly delivers on that goal.
“The impact of the pandemic on the travel industry means we are not able to immediately welcome as many customers and airlines into this fantastic new facility as we would have hoped [but] as government restrictions continue to be eased, and travel to more destinations is opened up in the weeks ahead, we will be making further announcements about the carriers and retailers operating from T2.
“In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating this milestone and welcoming those who are travelling through the new terminal later this week.”
Featured Image – Manchester Airport Group (MAG)