Edinburgh Airport welcomes almost one million passengers as numbers bounce back

Edinburgh Airport bosses have said it is coping with a surge in passengers as April marked the terminal’s busiest period since before the pandemic.

Around one million people travelled through the capital’s airport last month, as people made the most of eased coronavirus restrictions to take their first trips since early 2020.

Edinburgh Airport had previously warned about the potential for queues as a surge in demand and difficulty finding staff combined, but it said 97.1% of passengers passed through security within 15 minutes.

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Gordon Dewar, chief executive of the airport, said it was “brilliant to welcome passengers back to the airport and see so many happy faces as people set off to reunite with family and friends”.

Busy times at Edinburgh Airport

“It was, of course, a challenging few weeks and we are quite happy with the way the airport operation performed as it saw its busiest period in almost three years,” he said.

“As ever, there are lessons we can learn and improvements we can make as we head into the even busier summer season.”

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The rise in passengers marked a significant improvement for the aviation sector which saw numbers plummet from more than a million to just thousands.

In April 2019, a total of 1,258,354 passengers went through Edinburgh Airport, but a year later it was just 5,445.

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April 2021 saw a slight improvement, with 32,628 passengers, the airport said, but April saw the number of people increase more than 28 times to 931,522.

Last month, the airport said 90.3% of passengers went through security in under 10 minutes, and in a bid to keep times down is increasing overtime rates for staff and continuing hiring new recruits.

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Mr Dewar said: “A big thank you must go to our workforce and others across the campus who welcomed and greeted that challenge with gusto, and to our passengers who worked with us to prepare for their trip and showed patience and understanding throughout.”

He added: “We would like to remind passengers that we will face some challenges and again ask them to continue to work with us by planning ahead and ensuring they know what they need to do before they get here, and we will continue to do everything we can to get them through the airport quickly and comfortably.”