Manchester Airport bosses have admitted they are cutting costs by powering down the travelators linking the terminals and the station.
Passengers who have noticed the moving walkways are no longer in motion - and taking on 'long walks' as a result - have been in touch with the Manchester Evening News in recent weeks questioning why they are switched off.
Manchester Airport bosses have now admitted they are cutting costs by not bringing travelators back into operation after they ‘reached the end of their life cycle’.
READ MORE: Manchester Airport on why it had to temporarily shut as planes forced to divert
They said it meant they could focus on ‘protecting employment, maintaining critical infrastructure and Covid-related safety measures’.
The decision, they said, would be regularly reviewed.
For some passengers, particularly those who struggle to walk long distances, the decision has been a blow.
One passenger who asked not to be named said: “It’s a real issue, especially for those of us who are older who do not consider themselves as ‘restricted mobility’.
“The walks involved at Terminal Two and the new Drop and Go service only make things worse’.
Drop and Go parking involves passengers leaving their cars at a kiosk before staff park the vehicle ahead of passengers' return, when they can reclaim their vehicle at a 'returns area', where the key is waiting in a locker.
Another passenger added: “I came back into Terminal Two and couldn’t believe the amount of walking I had to do.”
Manchester Airport said it had made the decision to switch off travelators, but did not recognise reports that escalators were also not functioning.
A spokesman said: “We review our maintenance and investment programmes each year to prioritise our resources where they’re needed most.
“Due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our business - and the severely limited financial support airports have received from government - we have needed to focus our expenditure on protecting employment, maintaining critical infrastructure and Covid-related safety measures.
“This has meant we have needed to take the travelators linking Terminal One, the station and Terminal Two out of service after they reached the end of their life cycle, and due to the costs involved in bringing them back into operation.
“The situation will be reviewed regularly, with all suitable options considered as the aviation sector recovers and our operations continue to remobilise.”
Amid a raft of redundancies and pay cuts earlier this year , Manchester Airport bosses have been clear of their stance around the traffic light system, blaming it, and the Government's lack of decisive action, for standing in the way of their recovery.
This week, and ahead of a review of the traffic light system, they called for simplified two-tier regulations as it was revealed its passenger numbers are down by more than 70 per cent on last year.
In the three summer months of 2019, nearly 9.5m passengers travelled through the hub, compared to a relatively meagre 1.5m this year, a rapid descent and a reflection of how brutal the Covid crisis has been for the travel sector.
In June, they even took the unusual step of joining their staff in protests over job losses.