Edinburgh Airport asks for 'patience' as it returns to busy summer schedule after Covid-19 pandemic

An Edinburgh Airport boss has warned that staff may struggle to cope this summer as the number of passengers catching flights is set to treble.

By Anna Bryan
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 5:31 pm

Travellers have been told to expect disruption over the busy summer period as the airport returns to a full service for the first time since before the Coronavirus pandemic. It comes after the number of passengers travelling through the airport in 2020 and 2021 fell dramatically, from nearly 15 million to three million, with the airport reduced to a virtual standstill due to Covid restrictions.

However, numbers are predicted to more than treble this year, putting staff and resources under strain.

Airport bosses have therefore asked for “patience” as they explained that the surge in growth and differing Covid-19 entry requirements, could cause queues and disruption to travellers.

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Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said that a move to increase staffing levels at the airport had been delayed, adding to the pressure on existing workers.

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“The return of passengers to Edinburgh Airport is both exciting for the team here but challenging at the same time,” he said.

“During the pandemic, we lost many valued colleagues and our recruitment campaign to employ 1,000 people across the airport has been underway since the end of 2021.

Edinburgh Airport is set to return to a full summer schedule for first time since 2019. (Credit: Lisa Ferguson)

“Not all of those additional people will be in place as quickly as we would like and therefore it is inevitable there will be some queues and disruption as the recovery begins and we take the first steps to normality.”

Mr Dewar added that he was “grateful to passengers for their patience and understanding”, as he asked them to carefully plan their journey in advance.

Adam Wilson, operations director at the airport said: “Operations virtually shut down during the pandemic and although we have been planning for a sudden rise in demand, we cannot deny it will have an impact on our operations as we look to readjust.

“We’ve drawn up a range of plans to deal with potential scenarios but unfortunately this may not avoid queuing at peak times. We clearly hope this won’t be the case, but we think it’s better to be honest and ask passengers to work with us to make the process as smooth as possible.

“We’ll be using our social media channels, our website, our emails to inform and best prepare people for their return to travel. We hope people understand the challenges we are likely to face, and we are thankful for their patience.”

It comes after budget airline Ryanair announced its biggest ever Edinburgh summer schedule last month, with eight new destinations, a larger fleet of planes and new jobs. The airline will have a total of 250 weekly flights from the Capital – 50 more than in the pre-pandemic summer of 2019.

Virgin Atlantic’s first flight from the Capital to Orlando, Florida, also departed today, with services set to operate twice weekly, providing direct connections for the airline’s Scottish customers to the theme park capital of the world. And Jet2 has also recently announced more services from Edinburgh to Greece.

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