Call for cut in departure tax as Edinburgh Airport clocks up busiest ever January

Sixteen new Ryanair routes were among factors boosting passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport last year.
Sixteen new Ryanair routes were among factors boosting passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport last year.
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Edinburgh Airport has reported its busiest ever January, with 837,542 passengers recorded last month .

This follows what’s said to be the busiest ever year for a Scottish airport, with more than 13.4 million passengers in 2017.

The January figures are just over seven per cent up on the same time last year.

But airport boss Gordon Dewar argues the success only serves to emphasise the need for a cut in Air Departure Tax.

He said: “This is another positive set of results which demonstrates the continued pull that Edinburgh and Scotland has as a destination, and of the variety of destinations that we can offer to those looking to get away.

“In 2018 we’ll be looking to build on the success we’ve had over recent years and continue to open Scotland to the world, and we are preparing for that growth by investing in our infrastructure.

“However, we cannot let these figures cloud judgement on the delayed cut to Air Departure Tax.

“We’ve shown time and time again that the tourism sector is a success story for Scotland – we should not be capping that success by imposing this restrictive policy.

“The government must deliver this cut and allow the industry to capitalise and deliver greater economic growth and the promise we all know it has.”

Ryanair’s 16 new routes launched in 2017 were among the factors behind the boost to passenger numbers.

easyJet Bilbao and Sofia are new routes since January 2017 and more flights operated to European cities including Amsterdam, Paris CDG, Geneva, Berlin and Milan.

More services operated to Oslo than last January, further increasing passenger numbers.

Jet2.com operated more flights to all four of the Canaries Islands this January compared to last and Funchal (Madeira) is a new service which had not launched in January last year.