Edinburgh Airport has busiest ever month despite bad weather contributing to domestic travel slump
Edinburgh Airport has recorded the busiest ever month for a Scottish Airport in July.
But bad weather last month caused several domestic flight cancellations, contributing to a -4.7 per cent slowdown in domestic growth against last July, and air traffic control issues at other UK airports and the reduction in Ryanair flights to Stansted from four per day to four per week were also factors in this.
A total of 1,508,586 passengers passed through Edinburgh Airport in July - up 0.4 per cent on the same month last year - but growth is down from the 6.3 per cent recorded in July 2018.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "It’s a bittersweet month for us – we’ve just recorded the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport for the second time, but it comes as we see a marked slowdown in growth.
"The fall in domestic travel has clearly had an impact and although there is growth internationally we cannot ignore the loss of routes over the past year, such as Norwegian pulling their transatlantic services.
"We previously warned that failure to cut the highest aviation tax in the world would have an adverse effect on growth and this appears to be coming to fruition. Our industry hears the government’s concerns around the climate but the positive steps taken towards making aviation more sustainable have not been considered.
"Like all businesses, we are looking at how we make our operations more sustainable and how we can influence the wider industry to continue on that positive path. The airport campus employs around 7,000 people and as a business overall we support 23,000 jobs across Scotland - we have to find a way that delivers sustainable growth to ensure continued success for our economy."
The negative impact on domestic travel was partially softened by a strong performance on other domestic routes. These included Flybe increasing its London Heathrow flights from four to six daily, Loganair launching flights to Guernsey in May and Islay in March, while Ryanair started a new route to Derry in November 2018.
The international market recorded a three per cent year-on-year growth due to some new routes being introduced, and plenty of bookings for long-haul flights.
Ryanair introduced eight new international routes last winter - Seville, Tallinn, Berlin Schoenefeld, Stockholm Skavsta, Lisbon, Memmingen, Sofia and Riga.
Emirates launched a daily service to Dubai in October last year and Qatar increased frequencies from daily to 10 flights a week - double daily on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Delta increased from five flights a week to a daily service to JFK in New York and launched a new route to Boston in May.
Other additions included Lufthansa starting a new route to Munich in December last year and Alitalia operating a seasonal service to Milan this summer.
Central and Eastern Europe - Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Kaunas, Krakow, Wroclaw, Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Bratislava.
Spain - Alicante, Palma, Tenerife, Madrid, Almeria, Malaga, Seville and Barcelona.
City destinations - Helsinki, Geneva, Venice, Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin and Basel.
Turkey - Istanbul, Bodrum and Dalaman.
New routes in 2019
Mar 2019: Loganair to Islay
Apr 2019: American Airlines to Philadelphia; Ryanair to Billund & Luxembourg
May 2019: Delta Airlines to Boston; Jet 2 to Bodrum, Bourgas and Corfu; Loganair to Bergen, Stavanger & Guernsey
June 2019: Alitalia to Milan (both Linate and Malpensa); Great Dane Airlines to Aalborg
October 2019: Lauda to Vienna
December 2019: Wizz Air to Bucharest, Budapest, Warsaw Chopin & Gdansk
May 2020: Jet2 to Izmir