Scottish airports report rise in passenger numbers

Edinburgh Airport Almost 1 million passengers travelled through the capital's airport in July

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Passenger traffic rose at Scotland's three major airports last month, BAA has announced.

Glasgow rose 0.5%, Edinburgh increased by 3.3% and Aberdeen had a 8.7% rise in passenger numbers.

Almost 1 million passengers travelled through the capital's airport in July, averaging about 32,000 per day.

And on 16 July Edinburgh Airport registered its busiest day so far, with more than 36,000 people using the airport.

It was the fourth consecutive month of record traffic for the capital.

Kevin Brown, managing director of Edinburgh Airport, said: "This fantastic performance is testament to the continued appeal and resilience of Edinburgh as a place in which to live, work and visit and to the hard work and dedication of the team at Edinburgh Airport.

"We're continually adding new routes and upgrading our facilities.

"This choice, coupled with a focus on the passenger seems to resonate with the travelling public.

"We will continue to work with the city's tourism industry, business community and government to make sure we play our part in maintaining Edinburgh as a top European destination."

Airport sell-off

BAA said that Glasgow's growth was due largely to a 45.7% increase in traffic on scheduled European services.

And Aberdeen Airport had a growth in domestic traffic and even faster growth in international traffic, which helped it to reach the overall increase of 8.7%.

Across BAA the number of air transport movements was down by 1.8%, with only Heathrow (up 0.4%) and Aberdeen (up 0.3%) recording increases.

Cargo tonnage was also lower across the gGoup (down 2.3%) which reflected global trends.

At the end of March, BAA was told by the Competition Commission that it should sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

BAA has mounted a string of legal challenges to try to keep them ever since the commission initially ruled in 2009 that the operator must sell three of its seven UK airports.

It has already sold Gatwick Airport.

Passenger figures to the end of June for Prestwick Airport, which is owned by Infratil, a utility investor in New Zealand, were down 9% on the same period in 2010.

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