Manchester Airport through the ages: 9 photos showing the airport through the years- including a Royal visit

The airport has welcomed millions of flyers over the decades- here we take a look back at some golden photos

Manchester Airport has been serving customers for almost 90 years. Since 1938, millions of flyers have passed through its terminals. 

The official opening of Ringway Airport was June 25, and the first flights were handled two days later. In the first 14 months, 7,600 passengers use the airport. 

The airport had a significant role to play in the Second World War. On September 1, the last scheduled aeroplane flew before the outbreak of war. Ringway Airport goes on to become a hub of wartime engineering activity, as an aircraft manufacturing centre for Fairey Aviation and Avro. Runway and airport facilities are enhanced with three new runways and ten new hangars. The airport also acts as a training centre for over 60,000 parachutists.

In 1952, the airport started to run a 24-hour service and one year later Sabena (Belgian Airlines) introduced the first scheduled service to New York. In 1962 HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the new £2.7 million terminal. The terminal is truly innovative; the first in Europe to incorporate a 'pier' system, in which passengers remain under cover until ready to board the aircraft.

30 years later in 1993 Terminal 2 was opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, doubling terminal capacity to around 20 million passengers a year. A new railway station is opened in May, providing direct links to many towns and cities in the North of England.

In 2016, a range of new routes were launched including significant long haul destinations that can only be flown directly from Manchester and London. These include Hainan Airlines’ direct service to Beijing, Thomas Cook Airlines' new routes to Boston and Los Angeles, and Singapore Airlines’ new direct flights to Houston.

In the same year, Air France celebrated its 70th anniversary flying from Manchester in June, confirming its position as the airport’s longest serving airline. Virgin Atlantic also celebrated 20 years flying from Manchester in July.

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