NEW links with London and Munich have helped Edinburgh Airport record the busiest ever March of any Scottish terminal.
More than 956,000 passengers travelled through the Capital last month – a 4.1 per cent hike in numbers on March 2016.
Two new routes were launched from Edinburgh Airport in March, including a Flybe link with Heathrow and Eurowing’s new Munich service.
The London service will operate four times every day all year round, while the German flights will take to the air six times per week.
During March, 444,958 passengers made domestic journeys – up 2.5 per cent on the previous year – while 520,333 travelled internationally, up 5.5 per cent.
The figures were released as Edinburgh Airport enters the final stage of its consultation over controversial plans to alter its flightpath.
Gordon Dewar, the terminal’s chief executive, said: “March’s passenger figures underline Edinburgh Airport’s growing international ambitions and ongoing demand to fly to and from this great city. We have seen another solid increase in the number of international passengers which highlights the ever-increasing draw of Edinburgh as a global destination.
“An increase in visitors to the city stimulates the economy, creates new jobs and offers direct international links for all of Scotland.
“As we move into the final few weeks of our public consultation on airspace change I would urge everyone in our neighbouring communities with a view on our preferred flightpath options to respond before our consultation closes on May 7.”
Edinburgh Airport soared to supremacy above Glasgow Airport, even though it recorded its busiest March, with more than 700,000 passengers through its doors – an increase of 7 per cent on 2016’s figure. Demand for EU destinations such as Paris, Valencia, Lisbon and Berlin increased by 20.5 per cent over the year, while long haul carriers Emirates and Virgin Atlantic both reported an uplift in passenger numbers which led to an overall rise in international traffic of 13.7 per cent.
Domestic traffic grew by 1.4 per cent, with British Airways, easyJet and Flybe all seeing an increase in demand for London and UK regional services.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Our performance during the first quarter of 2017 has ensured we’ve made our busiest-ever start to any year.
“Our continued growth is a direct result of our efforts in securing new routes and services for our passengers. If the city and Scotland are to continue to attract further visitors and enjoy the associated economic uplift, then it’s important we address the high levels of Air Passenger Duty which put our airports at a severe disadvantage when it comes to competing with our European and global counterparts.”
Aberdeen International Airport saw 247,000 passengers travelling through its doors in March, up 1 per cent compared to the same month of last year.