Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan has slammed ‘concerning’ and ‘preposterous’ comments made by Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye this week (February 5) before the Transport Committee.

When quizzed on the potential economic impact of the proposed third runway at Heathrow, Mr Holland-Kaye appeared to play down Manchester’s role in connecting UK businesses with crucial international markets.

Andrew Cowan said: “It is concerning that Heathrow continues to make misleading claims about its role in the UK economy.

“Contrary to Heathrow’s claim, it is far from being unique in connecting UK businesses to global markets. We’ve shown with new services to China, the US and the Middle East in the last few years, that Manchester Airport is the North’s global gateway and plays a huge role in driving the Northern Powerhouse forward.”

He added: “The truth is that airports across the UK are doing far more to support jobs and stimulate regional economic growth than Heathrow ever will.”

Speaking further, Mr Cowan said the next 10 years will be crucial for the UK economy and for rebalancing economic growth.

He continued: “That’s why we need Government and politicians to focus on what they can do now to support growth and improved connectivity across the UK – and not be misled by Heathrow’s preposterous suggestion that it somehow has a monopoly on connecting Britain to the world.”

Manchester Airport’s presence on the global stage continues to grow, with new routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Seattle, Singapore (now direct), Beijing, Hong Kong, Phuket and Muscat launched in the last three years.

Passenger numbers rose year on year by 8.5% in 2017.

Read what John Holland-Kaye said to the Transport Committee here.