Edinburgh Airport passenger numbers continue fall

EDINBURGH airport said today it was confident of returning to growth in April after revealing a tenth consecutive month of falling passenger numbers.

Edinburgh Airport passenger numbers drop for tenth consecutive month

Glasgow Airport reports second monthly increase in a row

• Airport blames disruption at other airports caused by bad weather for fall in numbers

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It came as rival Glasgow airport notched up its second monthly increase in a row, of 0.6 per cent in March, and year-on-year growth of 3.6 per cent.

Edinburgh airport’s decline slowed to 0.1 per cent last month, but it has lost nearly 225,000 passengers in the last year, with the total down by 2 per cent to 9.1 million.

However, Scotland’s busiest airport recorded the first increase in international passengers in March for six months.

The airport blamed a drop in UK passengers on disruption at other airports caused by bad weather such as snow.

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Chief executive Gordon Dewar is expecting growth to return - the first since the airport was sold by BAA to Gatwick owners GIP last summer - such as from new routes by EasyJet, and Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow.

He said: “We have seen an increase in the number of international passengers travelling with us and we look forward to this continuing throughout the spring and summer.

“The outlook for Edinburgh airport is good. We expect our traffic to grow as we move to the busy summer months, and we start to see the full positive impact of our new deals with EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair, introducing new routes across the UK, Europe, North America and Canada.”

Glasgow airport, which was overtaken by Edinburgh six years ago, is currently expanding at 3.6 per cent a year. Passenger numbers have increased in all but one of the last eight months.

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Managing director Amanda McMillan attributed March’s growth to two new Polish routes by Wizz Air, transferred from Prestwick, and an extra Icelandair flight to Reykjavik.

Celtic fans travelling to Turin for the Champions League match against Juventus also boosted numbers.

Ms McMillan said: “The addition of new routes, such as Wizz Air’s services to Poland, has been key to our recent success in growing passenger numbers and we will continue to work towards providing customers with greater choice.

“Plans for our £17 million investment programme which will see key parts of the terminal building undergo a major makeover, are well under way and we are now looking forward to a busy summer season.”