History

1949 – Freight-handled figures pass 1000 tonnes for the first time.

1951 – The first all-mail flights from the airport began with nightly services from Aer Lingus to Dublin & BEA to Belfast.

1959 – The growth of the airport in the previous 10 years is illustrated by the fact that 10000 tonnes is surpassed for the first time.

1963 – With the opening of Terminal 1 & its new 200,000 square yard apron, the former 30,000 square yard apron area became dedicated to freight. Hangars 6 & 7 and the old RAF wartime buildings were also turned over for the use of freight handling & agents.

February 1974 – The record for a UK civil cargo load, 95.75 tonnes, was beat with the visit of a World Airways 747 transporting an electric generator during the world oil crisis.

May 1974 – A Public Enquiry was held to investigate the airport’s planning application for a new air cargo terminal with an initial capacity of 200,000 tonnes to be built on the north western side of the airport.

August 1976 – Environment Secretary, Peter Shore, gives approval for the construction of the cargo terminal. However, the commencement date for the work won’t be given until the airport authority see an improvement in the freight figures.

November 1983 – The Airport Authority gives the go-ahead for the new 6 million cargo centre to be built.

September 1986 – The World Freight Terminal is officially opened, at a cost of 10.5 million.

1988 – During the first 18 months of operations at the WFT, the growth rate of cargo was 11%. So marked was the initial success that phase two of development was completed by the end of the year.

1991 – Phase 3 of the World Freight Terminal was completed, more than doubling the original floor space in a Terminal that had been extended to 450,000 square feet.

1998 – The completion of phases 4 & 5, which added 100,000 square feet to the working area, and strong growth in freight from Hong Kong, meant that the airport broke the 100,000 ton mark for the first time.

2007- Asian market boom drives significant growth in cargo volumes at Manchester.

2008- Global recession leads to significant reduction in pure cargo schedules and subsequent volumes at Manchester. Bellyhold cargo takes increasingly prominent role in Manchester’s cargo throughput.