Manchester Airport celebrates Diwali and Eid

8th November 2011

Manchester Airport celebrated the festivals of Diwali and Eid for the first time this year with the airline carriers who serve the Asian market, as they look to continue their growth from the North of England.

Eid is the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan and Diwali is a ‘festival of lights’ that takes place between mid-October and mid-November. The venue for the celebrations was the Concorde Conference Centre at Manchester Airport where Dhol drummers and Indian dancers performed and projections brought the ‘festival of lights’ to life. Visitors were also treated to an authentic Indian banquet.

Over 150 travel agents specialising in travel to India and Pakistan were invited to meet representatives of airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Turkish and Biman. Biman Bangladesh Airlines being the latest carrier to add services direct to Dhaka in Bangladesh.

The desire for routes to Asia is of increasing importance to the airport and the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) recently signed a partnership agreement with Beijing Capital International to share knowledge and work towards providing a direct service from the North West to China. Direct passenger services between Manchester and China are a strategic ambition for both MAG and its North West partners including the inward investment agency, MIDAS, and the tourism body, Marketing Manchester.

The city is already home to the third largest Chinese population in Europe as well as enjoying trade links that were worth over 4bn in 2010. Manchester's universities also attract the largest number of Chinese students all of which show the potential for growth and further investment through closer direct links.

Caroline Plant, Marketing Director for Manchester Airport, said: “The strength of the offering to Asia here at Manchester is already apparent but we are still keen to develop our knowledge of the local market and provide more services for the communities that use our flights. How we treat our customers is very important to us and we believe we have a vital role to play as the airport in putting the local travel community in direct contact with the airlines that operate from Manchester. The Asia-Pacific region is a key focus area for route development and whilst we are already well served by a variety of carriers we know the demand is there for more. Events like this give us a greater understanding of the market and allow us to improve the offering we have at the airport.”

Manchester is already well served to Asian markets by the likes of Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore, Finnair, Pakistan, Turkish and Biman Bangladesh. The objective of the celebration was to raise the profile of the airport and the carriers who already serve those destinations.

As the Asian market becomes increasingly important to Manchester Airport’s growth, the airport is aiming to build relationships and foster a larger database of agents who serve ethnic communities who reside in the North of England.

ENDS

For more information, contact the Manchester Airport press office on 0161 489 2700 or via email at press.office@manairport.co.uk

Published on: 08/11/2011 14:07:32