Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

As travel restrictions finally appear to be lifting, we couldn’t resist this flashback photo of the arrivals gate at Manchester’s Ringway Airport in June 1967.

This was the entry to Manchester for passengers flying in from around the world in the 1960s. Waiting family and friends could be glimpsed as the arrivals’ door opened and closed.

Baggage could then be reclaimed as the sign above the gate explains – in English, French and German.

Air France started the ball rolling at Ringway with continental flights from Manchester in 1946 – and is still the airport’s longest continuous operator. BOAC launched the first transatlantic flight to originate at Manchester in 1963.

The 1960s saw the growth of package holidays in Europe, particularly Spain. Flying was still regarded as an adventure where people dressed in smart clothes and looked forward to luxury cabin service. Passengers could even smoke on planes.

Manchester Airport, 1967.
Travellers arriving at Manchester Airport on 18 January 2021
By 1971, Manchester was handling more than two million passengers a year. A year later, the link road connecting the airport to the M56 was opened. The former RAF base was officially renamed Manchester International Airport in 1975.

There is little glamour or excitement in our modern image of arrivals taken earlier this year. Covid protection regulations are in full swing.

Passengers flying from Abu Dhabi look like more like they’ve stepped out of a laboratory than a plane!

*Many more images from Then and Now are featured in The Changing Face of Manchester published to mark the 150th anniversary of the M.E.N.

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