NEW routes linking the Capital with London have helped to boost passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport.
The latest figures showed that the airport had seen a 6.8 per cent rise in numbers on last year, with 791,975 people flying in and out of Scotland’s busiest airport last month.
Both domestic and international passenger numbers also saw a strong increase, but it was short flights to and from London airports that were credited for the boost.
Ryanair’s new Stansted service now flies up to four times per day, as does the new Flybe service to London City. And BA Cityflyer has increased its frequency to London City, now flying up to 12 times per day.
Domestic passenger numbers rose by 8.7 per cent in March with 432,935 people travelling throughout the UK.
International traffic also increased by 4.7 per cent on March 2014 with a total of 359,040 passengers travelling, with increased services to Dublin, Barcelona and Rome with Ryanair, a new twice-weekly service to Madeira with easyJet and increased low-cost services to Lisbon and Reykjavik behind the rise.
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, welcomed the figure and said the airport was getting ready for a bumper summer.
He said: “March was a strong month for us and we saw a significant increase in the number of passengers travelling through our airport.
“Our biggest growth was in domestic traffic, which increased by 8.7 per cent with more services to London airports with Ryanair, Flybe and BA Cityflyer.
“The final home match of the RBS 6Nations also helped with over 31,000 Irish rugby fans travelling through the terminal.
“We’re now officially in the summer schedule and have already welcomed several new airlines and routes, including new services to the Faroe Islands with Atlantic Airways, Malaga with Norwegian, Copenhagen with SAS and Madrid with Iberia Express. We’re sure these will be popular choices for our passengers over the coming months.”
Glasgow Airport also saw a year-on-year boost in the latest figures. More than 600,000 people travelled through Glasgow Airport in March, a 14 per cent increase on the same period last year,
It was the busiest month in seven years for the airport, with international traffic up 22.3 per cent due to strong demand to European destinations. Domestic traffic grew by 8.2 per cent.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “2015 has got off to a tremendous start and we are continuing to enjoy significant increases in our passenger numbers as a result of our growing list of destinations. Over the next three months we will see the launch of a further 13 new routes including direct flights to Las Vegas, Munich, Prague and a daily service to Halifax, Nova Scotia.”