Optare wins airport contract

Manchester Airport has awarded bus manufacturer Optare with a contract to supply six Versa hybrids for the transport of staff and passengers across the airport.

The contract is valued in excess of £1.2m and part-funded through the Government's Green Bus Fund and the first of the hybrids enter service in September.

The Versas measure 11 metres and will be equipped with large luggage racks. Optare said final seating capacities have yet to be determined.

Chris Wise, commercial director at Optare, said: "The operation of these buses at one of the UK's most important international gateways will showcase Optare's environmentally-friendly hybrid products to the millions of people passing through the airport to and from the over 200 destinations it serves worldwide."

Andrew Harrison, Manchester Airport's managing director, said: "We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment which is why we have a target to make our operations carbon neutral by 2015. This order with Optare will make Manchester the first UK airport to bring hybrids into its bus fleet with the low emissions contributing towards this target."

Owned by the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester, Manchester Airport is the largest UK airport outside London with more than 18 million passengers passing through its three terminals each year.

Optare has offices in Blackburn, Leeds, Rotherham, and West Thurrock.

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