Scotland’s airports report record traffic growth

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Scotland’s airports report record traffic growth

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Scotland’s airports have reported record traffic growth, driven by soaring passenger numbers at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports.

Edinburgh Airport saw 1,129,720 passengers travel through its doors last month – the busiest October ever at a Scottish Airport.

Glasgow Airport also announced its busiest October, after it saw 884,350 passengers, an annual increase of 5.7%.

However, passenger numbers at Aberdeen airport decreased by 9.7% last month.

At Glasgow, international traffic was up 8.3% on last year due to strong demands for winter sun destinations, with Ryanair and Thomson Airways both introducing new routes including the airport’s first ever year-round service to Cape Verde from Thomson Airways.

‘Tartan army’

Airline Germanwings added extra capacity to meet demand as thousands of German fans travelled to Glasgow for Celtic’s Champions League group game at home against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Domestic traffic in October increased by 2.4%, which the airport said was due to demand from both business and leisure travellers on London services and regional routes.

EU scheduled services were up by 16%.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said she expected to see further growth this month, “as the Tartan Army sets off en masse for Wembley” ahead of the England v Scotland football game.

She added: “In a year of many highs we recorded yet another with the 2016 October school break our busiest in a decade as more than 160,000 people travelled through the airport bound for their holidays. “At Edinburgh, October is the seventh month in 2016 where passenger numbers have exceeded one million – the first time the airport has had over a million passengers in seven months of a year.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said the figures resulted from the growth in passenger services offering choice of routes to and from Edinburgh.

While Mr Dewar welcomed the news, he added that there was “absolutely no room” for complacency.

“We continue to urge the Scottish government to deliver detail on their proposed cut to Air Passenger Duty (APD),” said Mr Dewar.

Aberdeen Airport suffered a drop in passenger numbers, with 272,292 people using the site in October.

International and domestic traffic were both down 8%, with helicopter traffic slumping 20%.

Aberdeen Airport managing director Carol Benzie said: “Our focus throughout 2016 has been on adding the routes and services our customers demand.

“I’m pleased to say that despite having to contend with the continued downturn in the wider economy we have enjoyed a great deal of success.”

Ms Benzie also said she would urge the Scottish government to implement a 50% cut to APD “as a matter of urgency”.

Source: www.bbc.com

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