Prestwick Airport passenger numbers fall

Plane in flight Ryanair's has shifted some of its flights to Edinburgh

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Prestwick Airport saw a drop of nearly 20% in passenger numbers in July, compared with the same month last year.

The Ayrshire airport's owners said there were 37,800 fewer passengers during the crucial first month of the school summer holidays.

New Zealand-based Infratil said the July passenger numbers fell from 194,500 last year to 156,700 this year.

In recent years, the number of passengers at Prestwick topped 230,000 during the month in both 2007 and 2008.

Infratil, an infrastructure investment company, said declining numbers were due to Ryanair reducing its routes in and out of Prestwick.

The Irish carrier, which is dominant in Prestwick's passenger operations, has shifted several routes to Edinburgh Airport.

Prestwick's figures for July saw a 23% drop in scheduled aircraft movements.

Its winter figures saw a much steeper fall, with a 40% reduction in the number of passengers using Prestwick.

Freight tonnage was down 11%.

In the financial year to March, Prestwick, along with Kent International Airport, lost £5m, following losses over the previous two years.

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