Andy Cliffe's thoughts on the year ahead
Andy Cliffe, East Midlands Airport's Managing Director, shares his thoughts on the year ahead.
The word dominating all current public discourse - Brexit - will continue to be the big agenda in 2018. It’s a crunch year as details of our trade agreements need to be established by the autumn. The sooner we get clarification of this, the better for all business - and not only us in the aviation sector which could be significantly impacted.
2018 is an exciting year for the region as plans for HS2 and improved regional connectivity start to be developed. If we are to realise the benefits of such investment, there needs to be momentum this year in shaping what this will look like. In parallel, there are opportunities to contribute to regional growth strategies and I’m also keen to see the outcome of the Derby/Nottingham metro initiative. The East Midlands, as a whole, needs to work better together and there are signs of this happening as the three core cities collaborate more to present a united pitch to investors about the benefits of the region.
We’re gearing up for another busy year at the airport. Passengers craving winter sunshine can take advantage of Ryanair’s new twice-weekly route to Seville and Thomas Cook returns with Hurghada in Egypt from February, ideal for those who love the sun all year round. Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have announced its biggest ever winter flights and holidays programme from East Midlands Airport, with over 300,000 seats on sale to 16 winter sun, city and ski destinations for winter 2018 - and 2019 - an increase of 11,000 extra seats.
Over 3.2 million passengers flew to and from the airport during May to October last year and even more are expected this summer. By the end of the current financial year, annual passenger numbers are forecast to have grown to 4.9m.
Building on the success of the last 12 months we hope to announce further new routes. So watch this space.