Northern Powerhouse to be boosted by new airport routes
An announcement has been made by two airlines – Ethiopian Airlines and Jet Airways of India – regarding the launch of new services to and from Manchester Airport UK by the end of the year.
The fact the airlines have been attracted to Manchester Airport is a coup not just for the airport, but also for the concept of the Northern Powerhouse, which aims to turn the North of England, which has a population of around 15 million, into a serious economic competitor to the South East and London.
The importance of attracting overseas airlines from outside Europe has only grown in importance since the decision by the UK to exit the EU, which will come into effect from March next year.
Since the mid-1980s, the city of Manchester has been a prime mover in attracting long-haul services – that do not include London – from airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, American Airways, Qantas and Malaysia Airways. More recently the likes of Oman Air, Saudia and Hainan Airlines have come on board, as have Thai Airways. New services often prompt other airlines in the UK to provide such routes.
The aim of the Northern Powerhouse concept is to rebalance the nation’s economy and draw investment and emphasis away from the South East of the UK while also getting the region prepared for the new economic opportunities that will arise as a consequence of Brexit, such as those within India and Africa.