Liverpool John Lennon Airport is looking to build on a strong year with further growth,with CEO, John Irving outlining plans for new routes and destinations, as well as investments in terminal improvements.
The hub has played host to more than five million passengers this year – the first time such a fear has been achieved since 2011.
Irving – who took the reins in March after joining from Newcastle International Airport – believes the period has been "excellent. "We have been successful in growing the choice of destinations with more than 70 now available from Liverpool," he told Insider. "We've added a new airline operator, increased passenger throughput and completed improvements to passenger facilities to deliver an enhanced customer experience, with positive passenger feedback now at an all-time high.
The chief executive is expecting further growth next year with a number of announcements having already been made. These include Ryanair's three new routes to Copenhagen, Corfu and Paphos, and EasyJet introducing its eighth aircraft at LJLA in July 2018.
"We will therefore see a full year of additional traffic related to this additional aircraft," he said.
"In recent weeks, Wizz Air has also introduced three new services to Romania which are due to operate throughout 2019, as well as announcing a new service to Varna in Bulgaria to start in the summer.
"In addition to the new routes and destinations highlighted above, the airport will invest in terminal improvements aimed at further improving the experience for arriving passengers with added weather protection and creating a better welcome, particularly for the growing numbers of overseas passengers taking advantage of flights to Liverpool as a gateway for visiting the Liverpool City Region, the wider North West and North Wales."
Irving also spoke of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which he noted "continues to be a significant challenge for all UK airports, with airlines often reluctant to commit to further growth as well as undermining passenger confidence regarding possible disruption to air services and travel processes. We will continue to work with our partner airlines and as an industry to lobby for a smooth transition, as well as continuing to invest in areas that will further improve the passenger experience in order to continue to attract more passengers to choose to fly from Liverpool."