Edinburgh Airport: International flights lead way for growth

Passengers to pass through Edinburgh Airport rose 8.7 per cent in April. File picture: supplied
Passengers to pass through Edinburgh Airport rose 8.7 per cent in April. File picture: supplied
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AN increase in travel to Europe and the Middle East helped fuel another busy month at Edinburgh Airport.

The total number of passengers to pass through the terminal in April rose by 8.7 per cent to 1,009,529.

International traffic enjoyed the strongest performance, up 18.4 per cent, and now accounts for more than half of all the airport’s traffic.

Popular destinations included Berlin, Madrid, Doha and Abu Dhabi, while services to the United States continued to perform well.

More than 11.5 million travellers have now used the airport in the past 12 months – however, in April the number of domestic passengers was down 2.2 per cent.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said Edinburgh Airport planned to double its current 23,000-strong workforce in the next few years and would continue to push for air passenger duty to be slashed.

He said: “Edinburgh Airport’s international air services are the lifeblood of Scotland’s tourism industry and are offering better global connections for Scots businesses than ever before.

“The airport is an increasingly important social and economic asset, providing 23,000 jobs and economic output of around £1 billion.

“We look forward to working with others, in the city and in the Scottish Government and elsewhere, to build a sustainable, long-term plan for the future of this airport, potentially doubling the number of jobs here in the next few years.

“We will continue to advocate a halving of air passenger duty.

“It is a punitive tax on travel that restricts Scotland’s progress and punishes those who can least afford it.”

The SNP is committed to halving Air Passenger Duty over the next five years, but none of the other parties support the move.

Newly elected Edinburgh Western Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This is great news for the city and its economy. Passengers coming through Edinburgh and choosing Edinburgh as a destination is always to be welcomed.

“But it underscores the point Liberal Democrats were making throughout the election that there is no real case for cutting Air Passenger Duty because we don’t have a drop-off in passenger numbers.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com