Foreign flights help Scots airports hit record

More international flights to cities like Prague have boosted airport traffic at Edinburgh and Glasgow

Edinburgh and Glasgow airports both reported their busiest February on record as international flight traffic in and out of Scotland’s central belt continues to rise.

Edinburgh Airport said 770,265 passengers used the capital’s airport last month — a 17.2% increase on February last year — with almost as many international travelers now passing through the airport as domestic passengers.

Edinburgh had 372,765 international passengers in February, up 30.4% from 285,814 last year, and 397,500 domestic passengers, up 7% from 371,572 last year.

“February’s passenger numbers have broken another monthly record and act as further indication of just how big Edinburgh Airport’s global ambitions are,” said Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport’s chief executive.

“We have seen a massive increase of 30.4 per cent in the number of international passengers and this highlights the growing draw of Edinburgh as a prime global destination.

“And as we grow we deliver greater international links for this city and for Scotland.

“Edinburgh Airport and our partner airlines 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.”

From Edinburgh, easyJet’s new Stuttgart, Vienna and Venice services boosted traffic and more passengers travelled to Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Basel and Geneva.

Qatar Airways’ Edinburgh-Doha service now flies daily from Edinburgh and a new Etihad service is flying five times a week.

Other new routes from Edinburgh which boosted numbers include Iberia Express to Madrid, Norwegian to Malaga and Tenerife, and Etihad’s service to Abu Dhabi.

Also, launched Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote services in February.

Glasgow Airport also reported its busiest February on record, with 582,879 passengers, up 14.1% from last year.

International traffic at Glasgow grew by 13.2% due to strong demand on European routes to Berlin, Reykjavik and Milan.

Aer Lingus also added capacity on its Dublin service, and Eurowings reported particularly strong demand on its Dusseldorf route.

Domestic traffic from Glasgow increased by 14.8%, with Flybe’s services to Exeter and Cardiff proving popular.

British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair also reported strong demand for their London services from Glasgow.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said: “We are continuing to see our passenger numbers grow at record rates, following our success in 2015 securing more than 30 new routes and services.

“We are continuing to make improvements in our airport to accommodate this growth and will be investing significantly this year in a comprehensive airside terminal redevelopment which will include new catering and retail outlets.

“Later this month we will welcome the first of our major new flag carriers when Air France launches its daily service to Paris Charles de Gaulle.

“Over the coming months we will also begin new services to Montreal, Newquay and the Spanish city of Girona.”