KARACHI - Airblue's operation to Manchester, which completed one year on May 31, contributed to market growth of 49.28 per cent on the Islamabad-Manchester route. According to the figures provided by Manchester Airport Authority, the market size increased by 49.28% during the period from June 2007 to May 2008. Airblue carried a record number of 84,383 passengers during this period, which was 37.97% of the market. To celebrate the completion of one year of successful operations to Pakistan from Manchester and record its outstanding performance, Airblue invited the leading travel agents, media persons, commercially important personalities, representative of various organizations, government official,  Shahid Khaqan Abbasi "CEO Airblue, Syed Nasir Ali " MD airblue, and the Counsel General of Pakistan for Manchester Mr Masroor Junejo also attended the celebration event. Airblue festivities continued at Manchester Airport with cake cutting ceremony followed by awarding a free return Airblue ticket to Manchester to a lucky  passenger Mrs Rehana Khan through a computer ballot. The ticket was presented to the lucky winner by Ms. Janet Senior, Terminal Duty Manager, Manchester International airport. Airblue free return ticket winner Mrs Rehna Khan, a resident of Huddersfield, was very happy at this occasion, she further expressed that by profession she is a doctor and traveling to Pakistan (Peshawar) for a noble cause. The purpose of her visit will be providing training to doctors at Khyber Institute of Ophthalmic Medicine and exchanging information. She was extremely satisfied with the on line reservation system of Airblue, call center response/help and services at the airport. She praised Airblue and the staff and rated the automated services of the carrier amongst the world finest airlines. At Islamabad International Airport airblue rewarded a free ticket to the first passenger to board the Manchester flight on June 01, 2008.Mr Yahiya Khan was the lucky winner.   Airblue started its Manchester operations on June 1, 2007 with 4 direct flights a week from  Islamabad. Airblue got a very positive response from the passenger and increased its number of flights from 4 a week to daily direct flights. In a span of one year Airblue operated 570 Islamabad-Manchester-Islamabad flights and carried a load of 84383 between Islamabad and Manchester. Over the past four years, Airblue has grown to be the largest private airline in Pakistan, introducing innovations for greater customer convenience such as e-ticketing, wireless mobile check-in and self check-in kiosks. Airblue, currently has the youngest fleet in Pakistan and with 3 A320 and 3 A321 aircraft operate flights to 6 major domestic cities in Pakistan; and 3 daily flights to Dubai from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, as well as a daily Flight between Manchester and Islamabad. Future expansion plans of airblue include induction of 14 new airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet and flights to UK, Scandinavia, Gulf, Middle East, India, and Bangladesh.