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Manchester Airport woos local long haul customers

New campaign to win back 1m ‘lost’ customers in its own back yard

Published on September 15th 2010.

Manchester Airport woos local long haul customers

Manchester Airport is launching a new national advertising campaign called ‘So Far, Yet So Near’, to try and win back the estimated 1.5m passengers from its catchment area that fly long haul from other airports.

The campaign will focus on destinations in America, the Far East and India and use Geolocation, a first for Manchester Airport, on websites including Skyscanner, onthebeach.co.uk and Expedia.

The airport ran a similar campaign in 2008, but in the last two years the airport says there has been a drop in awareness over long haul routes in its local catchment areas, which includes Cheshire.

Awareness of direct flights to the USA dropped by nine per cent and knowledge of flights to Australia has also decreased, showing a dip of 12 per cent. Awareness about accessibility and connections to cities in the Far East has also decreased.

Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport’s new managing director, currently starting his first week in the job, said: “I wanted to start with something that’s close to my heart. Last year I said that 50 per cent of travellers from the North wanting to fly to Dubai were driving to London rather than taking flights from Manchester.

“With two daily services, there’s no need to do that anymore and with this campaign we want to win back the one million or so passengers we’re losing from our catchment area and remind them about the range of routes we offer from Manchester.

“We want to continue to grow our long haul offering at Manchester and we will achieve this by increasing the awareness and gain the support of our passengers”

The airport said previous research has shown that people from the North West are frequently travelling to long haul destinations but aren’t aware that Manchester daily serves destinations including New York, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Chicago, Philadelphia and Lahore.

Other destinations like Toronto, Hong Kong, Sydney, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Mumbai and Shanghai can be reached by connections from US or European points.

Harrison added: “Research has shown that people are driving, getting the train right passed Manchester to travel to a long haul destinations, this campaign will remind people that you can get almost anywhere in the world from Manchester with direct or one stop services on a daily basis.”

The ‘So Far, Yet So Near’ campaign will run for four weeks and coverage will appear in national publications and on national broadcasters from this week onwards.

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AnonymousSeptember 13th 2010.

If Manchester Airport want to win back customers they should first and foremost tackle the issue of luggage handling which is absolutely shocking at Manchester. I have never travelled to/from an airport where luggage gets consistently so battered that even the toughest suitcases can barely hold it together! And yes, when you travel a lot you CAN pinpoint where (i.e. in which airport) the damage is done. This is a major issue and major customer complaint and until Man Airport will deal with it they will lose custom.

ABSeptember 13th 2010.

Another poster....
More destinations served from Man than LHR.....Fact!
Ok not the frequency, but places connected.... I believe Ringway has over 200 while Heathrow 187!

Scott NeilSeptember 13th 2010.

i've flown an awful lot to Canada and the States in recent years and although i have sometimes flown from Mcr (often changing somewhere across the pond en-route to my final destination as it was cheaper that way), i have often found it was cheaper full stop to fly from down south or, even in one memorable case, from Dublin. and that's taking into account prices of getting down south, across to Ireland, and so on. also don't quite a lot of northwest folk who jet off long-haul often get a short connecting flight to somewhere relatively near (such as London, or indeed Paris, Amsterdam, etc.) at the off? it's just generally cheaper from busier airports (such as Dublin or Heathrow in my case), it seems. to be fair, we clearly have the best airport outside London in this country by a mile, and one of the busier ones in all Europe, which is something to be proud of.

Scott NeilSeptember 13th 2010.

mind i suppose if Cestrian business folk are a target market, Ringway should clean up with them, as i can't imagine a few bob here and there makes a difference for high roller types when comparing fares.

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