Weather boosts Highlands and Islands airports

Inverness Airport Inverness saw a big year-on-year rise in passenger numbers in December

Relatively mild weather over the festive period has helped boost passenger numbers at airports in the Highlands and Islands.

Operators Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (Hial) said numbers in December rose year-on-year by 24.7% to reach more than 90,600.

Inverness Airport recorded a rise of more than 10,200 passengers to 44,154.

Almost one million passengers have used Hial's airports in the financial year to date - a 9.6% rise on last year.

Hial managing director Inglis Lyon said: "We have been fortunate to enjoy a far milder festive period than the previous year - it is predominantly due to this that we can attribute the 24.7% group increase.

"December 2010 was exceptional in terms of winter weather conditions which saw cancellations and snow closures throughout the Hial group."

Hial is a public corporation which receives subsidies from the Scottish government.

It operates and manages 11 airports at Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Islay, Inverness, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick.

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