THE run of success at Edinburgh Airport has hit new heights, with the transport hub bursting through the one million passenger mark for the second month in a row.
More than two million travellers have passed through the terminal across July and August, with passenger numbers reaching seven figures for both individual months.
The airport had never achieved the elusive million mark milestone until this summer.
The result comes just a week after the airport announced a £25m overhaul of the existing terminal, with a new security area and more shops to be built at the site.
A total of £150m will be spent by airport owners Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) over the next five years, with the rest of the money to go towards general improvements such as building more car parking and adding at least five new parking stands for aircraft.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said the result had capped off a “truly remarkable summer”.
He said: “We want to thank each and every one of the two million passengers that travelled with us in July and August for choosing our airport and helping us to break records.
“It’s amazing to think that we’ve had enough people pass through our terminal to fill almost 4000 Airbus A380s. As a thank you, we’re offering all of our departing passengers a free coffee when they return to visit us. We want their lasting memory of Edinburgh to be a good one and we hope that people take up our offer and have a coffee on us when they return to see us again.”
Festivals help numbers
Airport chiefs have credited the strongest Fringe on record for contributing to their results.
The Fringe and the Book Festival both reported record sales as they brought down the curtain on a bumper year.
More than 1.9 million tickets were sold to Fringe events – a five per cent increase on last year.
The Book Festival also experienced record numbers, with about 225,000 visits to the Charlotte Square site during the 30th annual event.
The reputation of Edinburgh Airport is growing, with the hub awarded the major plaudit in the five to ten million passenger class at this year’s prestigious Airports Council International Europe awards.
The facility, which had 9.2 million passengers a year pass through its doors last year, is up about eight per cent on traveller numbers compared to the same point of 2012.
Edinburgh Western MSP Colin Keir, who praised the results, said: “They have to continue to obviously improve the experience of moving through the airport, whether it’s the speed that you come off a plane into the city or the speed that you move out. It’s about making life that bit easier for not just the business traveller, but also ordinary travellers.
“People who are off on their holidays, the last thing you want is the old horror story of years ago with endless queues.”
Coffee to boost travellers
Every passenger who flies out of Edinburgh Airport today will be given a free cup of coffee to thank them for helping achieve the “1 in 2 million” landmark.
Postcards celebrating the occasion will also be handed out to travellers. The airport expects to give out about 18,000 cups of coffee over the day.
The retail reward comes after plans to convert the airport’s existing security area into a host of new shops when the terminal extension opens next year were unveiled.
The new stores will include fashion and jewellery outlets and will be launched in 2015.
The airport’s first walk-through store and a business centre for airlines will also be created to tempt shoppers.