Local travel agents have taken part in a FAM trip, hosted by George Best Belfast City Airport, to Manchester Airport to experience the fast, convenient connection process.

With over 70 airline partners, Manchester Airport is reporting increasing numbers of passengers from Northern Ireland using the airport as a hub to connect to onward global destinations. Nico Spyrou and Emma Stone from Manchester Airport hosted the group.

The FAM trip saw agents fly from Belfast City Airport to Manchester with Flybe. They then met with Virgin Atlantic representative Anne Selby, on board an aircraft and heard about the airline’s extensive route network via Manchester.

Diane Risk, Travel Trade Consultant at Belfast City Airport, said:

“These trips are a hugely important component in developing relationships with our travel trade partners, who we work with closely throughout the year.

“Manchester Airport is an important hub for passengers, attracting over 27 million passengers per year. Nearly 42,000 of these passengers are from Northern Ireland and using the airport to connect to over 200 worldwide destinations.

“Providing agents with the opportunity to actually experience the product is advantageous for them when selling on and finding the best travel solutions for customers.”

Manchester Airport representatives discussed the huge investment planned to increase the terminal sizes, speed up security and introduce more routes. The airport announced a one billion-pound, ten-year project in 2015, one of the biggest single construction projects Greater Manchester has seen.

Michael Holmes, WTC Belfast, said:

“This was a very positive trip, we were all extremely impressed by the connection process at Manchester Airport. We also had a chance to experience the new 1903 business lounge in T3, which is fantastic.

“With onward routes to Asia, North America and the Middle East, the airport is a popular choice for customers wanting to travel further afield at their easiest convenience.

“From arrival into Terminal 3, it was quick, easy and clear on how to make our way to the other two terminals for connections. Many thanks to Belfast City Airport and Manchester Airport for their support on this trip.”

Flybe operates up to seven flights a day from Belfast City to Manchester Airports.