International boost for Edinburgh, Glasgow airports

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport

Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have both reported huge increases in international passengers as the list of direct flights available from Scotland’s central belt continues to grow.

Edinburgh Airport said its total passenger numbers in January rose 11.4% to 700,142 — with international passengers increasing 21.7% to 342,540 — compared to January 2014.

Domestic passengers rose 3.1% to 357,602.

Glasgow Airport, meanwhile, started its 50th anniversary year by reporting it had 551,177 passengers in January, an annual increase of 13.5% that made it the airport’s busiest January on record.

International traffic at Glasgow grew by 17.6% due to strong demand for some of the airport’s new services to European cities such as Milan and Bucharest.

Emirates, which offers a double daily service from Glasgow to Dubai, and Aer Lingus, which added capacity to Dublin, also reported strong demand.

Domestic traffic at Glasgow increased by 10.2% compared to the same period last year due to strong uptake on the airport’s London routes provided by British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair.

Flybe’s new services from Glasgow to Cardiff and Exeter also proved popular.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport (pictured), said: “We anticipate 2016 will be our busiest year on record, welcoming nine million passengers through our doors for the first time.

“Our focus for 2016 is to ensure we continue to build on the success of last year where we secured 30 new routes and saw passenger numbers grow at unprecedented levels.”

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive, said: “January’s passenger numbers are very welcome indeed and the massive increase in the number of international passengers highlights the growing draw of Edinburgh as a prime global destination.

“We are continuing to offer greater choice with more routes and more destinations — and passengers are responding by flying in and out of Edinburgh directly in greater numbers than ever before.

“People ask me how much more Edinburgh Airport can grow in a country with little over five million people; it is not the five million I am worried about — but how the other seven billion across the globe get to visit us.”