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Manchester councils bail out MAG airports

Coronavirus: Manchester Airports Group to receive £260m

Mark Moran
12 May 2020

Ten councils across Greater Manchester will invest about £260m in Manchester Airports Group (MAG) to safeguard its future amid the coronavirus pandemic.
MAG owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports.

Manchester City Council will invest about £143m, while the other councils will each give £13m. “Backing the airport will enable it to weather the current storm,” said the city council.

Manchester City Council has had a 35.5% share in the ownership of MAG since 1986. Investment fund IFM has an equal share and the remaining 29% is owned equally by the other nine Greater Manchester authorities.

“Manchester Airport is critically important to the future success of the city," said Sir Richard Leese, leader of the city council. “It is both an international gateway for trade and travel and somewhere which creates and supports tens of thousands of jobs.

“Backing the airport will enable it to weather the current storm and come out stronger in the years ahead. To put this in context, the MAG dividend paid to Manchester City Council for the last financial year alone was £70m. Our return on this investment to support MAG's future will more than cover our costs.”

About 70% of the MAG’s 7,000-strong workforce have been placed on the government furlough scheme and no redundancies have been made.

Air industry bodies have called on the UK government to expand support for the sector.

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