Edinburgh Airport prepares for record Hogmanay

RECORD numbers of Hogmanay revellers are set to jet into the Capital over the next few days.

Wednesday, 28th December 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:23 pm
1,000 passengers an hour are expected to touch down on Friday. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Most of the party-goers are coming from London, with airport chiefs revealing routes from Ireland, Holland and France were also expected to prove popular.

They said the week between Christmas Day and Hogmanay would be the busiest in the terminal’s history for this time of year, with a record-breaking 86,000 people touching down.

The total surpasses last year’s tally of 75,000 and is 20,000 more than the number who travelled by air to Edinburgh for Hogmanay in 2013.

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A record Hogmanay beckons for Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Michael Gillen

It means the airport is on course to have welcomed a record 12 million passengers through the terminal in 2016.

Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “The global demand for Edinburgh and the international draw of Scotland has once again surpassed expectations and previous records set last year. New Year 2016 smashed all records of Scottish airports – so to go one better this year is a great achievement.

“Edinburgh is rightly recognised globally as a world-class city and Scotland is a massive brand. It’s easy to see why – our heritage, our culture and our people. People want to visit us – and at this time of year they want to party with us.”

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is set to see more than 150,000 revellers gather in the city centre for the street party, with tens of thousands more attending a string of events over three days.

A record Hogmanay beckons for Edinburgh Airport. Picture: Michael Gillen

And business is booming at hotels across the Capital.

James Fraser, general manager of the Mercure Edinburgh, said: “I have seen this year an increase in rooms sold in particular between Christmas and New Year and over the New Year period, the hotel is as full as ever.”

Tickets for the Hogmanay celebrations – which feature two concerts by Paolo Nutini – have already been purchased in more than 80 countries, including Australia, Ecuador, Cambodia, Croatia, Estonia, Hong Kong, Japan, Luxembourg, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, Slovenia, South Africa, the United States and Uruguay. Al Thomson, director of Unique Events and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has seen an annual increase in its international audience and last year we welcomed visitors from over 80 countries to celebrate at Scotland’s New Year festival.

“Having Edinburgh Airport as the arrival and departure point for our visitors ensures that they are receiving the very best experience.”

A city council spokeswoman said: “Over the decades we have created a festival that is known across the world for its success, attracting first-class musicians, artists, performers and events.

“Over the course of the three days, from the torchlight procession to the Loony Dook, and for the first time ever a performance in Princes Street Gardens on the 30th, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will be enjoyed by well over 80,000 people.”