Fringe helps Edinburgh Airport rise 12%

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Airport enjoyed an increase in passengers of 11.9% in August compared to the same month last year — with 1,296,189 people passing through the airport.

The number of international passengers was up 18.4% to 819,218 and domestic passengers rose 2.1% to 476,971.

August was the second busiest month ever at Edinburgh Airport — with July 2016 being the busiest ever — and the fifth month of 2016 where passenger numbers have exceeded one million.

“The success of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe — with tickets issued up nearly 8% on 2015 — gives a strong indication of the growing draw of Edinburgh,” said Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar.

“This summer at Edinburgh Airport we have welcomed more people into Scotland than ever before and people at home have better direct links with the rest of the world.

“This is great news for inbound tourism, the Scottish economy and jobs.

“This underlines the ongoing work we are doing at Edinburgh Airport to adapt and accommodate the ever increasing number of people wanting to fly in and out of Edinburgh.

“We are currently holding a public consultation on an Airspace Change Project and seeking views on the potential impact of altering flight paths above Edinburgh and the surrounding areas to allow for maximum operational benefits and to minimise community impact.

“Last week, following the well-publicised loss of some data for which we apologised, we have extend the consultation by an additional week, and I encourage as many people in Edinburgh, West Lothian, Fife, Falkirk and beyond to give us their feedback before the consultation closes on September 19.”

Glasgow Airport, meanwhile, recorded its busiest summer on record with more than 943,000 passengers in August — a 7.4% increase on the same period last year.

That means almost three million passengers used Glasgow Airport during June, July and August and making sure the airport remains on course to record its busiest year since it first opened 50 years ago.

Domestic traffic grew 8.3% in August with Flybe, easyJet and Ryanair all reporting an increase in demand for UK services.

International traffic grew 6.3% and benefited from extra capacity added by Canadian carriers WestJet, Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat.

EU scheduled services increased by 13.5% with Wizz Air, Blue Air and Air France all showing strong demand during the month.

Amanda McMillan, chief executive of AGS Airports and managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “August was an extremely busy month for the airport.

“We welcomed Scotland’s first direct service with Seoul which saw more than 1,000 South Korean tourists use Glasgow as a gateway to Scotland and events such as the World Pipe Band Championships also brought thousands of visitors to the city.

“Alongside our efforts in securing new routes for Scotland we have made significant progress with our £27 million investment programme.

“Construction of our dedicated car rental facility is underway and we will open a number of new food outlets in the coming weeks including celebrity chef James Martin’s new café.

“The launch of Ryanair’s Sofia service has helped us make a strong start to September.

“The airline has also confirmed it will further strengthen our European connectivity with the introduction in 2017 of flights to Lisbon, Valencia, Palanga in Lithuania and to the Croatian city of Zadar.

“The Davis Cup at the Emirates Arena and Celtic’s participation in the Champions League will also contribute to what we expect to be yet another month of growth for the airport.”