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Manchester crowned best UK airport

Manchester Airport has been crowned UK Airport of the Year.

The airport beat competition from Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham to win the category for best airport with passengers over six million a year.

The industry award was given at the annual Airport Operators Association (AOA) awards and voted for by the British Air Transport Association airlines.

Andrew Cowan, chief operating officer for Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said: "We are absolutely delighted to beat off fierce competition and win such an esteemed award.

"The accolade is testament to the continued hard work of all our airport staff, and we thank them for their ongoing commitment and diligence.

"It has been an incredibly successful year at Manchester Airport and we hope to soon see passenger numbers back over 22 million - a symbolic figure we've not seen since 2007.

"Over the last 12 months we have significantly grown, not just from a passenger point of view but from a destination perspective. This year we confirmed a direct route to Hong Kong, with Cathay Pacific, which will make Manchester the only airport outside of London with a direct non-stop service to China.

"As well as adding more routes, we also continue to develop and invest in the airport, including rapidly progressing our £800 million Airport City project and connecting the airport to the region's tramway, a feat we achieved with Metrolink over a year ahead of schedule.

"It is reasons like these, I believe, made us a worthy winner in the awards."

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