Aberdeen Airport reports surge in passenger traffic

Aircraft taking off Aberdeen said it was the airport's second highest passenger total for the month of October

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Aberdeen Airport has reported its busiest October for five years, following a surge in international traffic during the school holidays.

The airport, which is owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH), said passenger numbers increased year-on-year by 11.3% to more than 316,000.

It was the second highest passenger total ever recorded by the airport for the month of October.

International traffic rose by 16.2%, while domestic numbers were up 10.2%.

The number of helicopter passengers rose by 6.6%.

Aberdeen airport said a busier than expected October school break helped drive numbers.

Managing director Derek Provan said: "Given the current state of the UK economy, these figures are remarkably strong, with double digit growth in the domestic and international sectors, and the second best October performance in the airport's history.

"This strong growth has been achieved in spite of the UK government's punitive tax system, which has seen air passenger duty in the UK reach punishing levels and left Britain hugely uncompetitive."

Celtic boost

Meanwhile, HAH's other Scottish airport - Glasgow - saw numbers rise by 4.6% to reach almost 700,000 for the month.

The airport said its figures were boosted by Celtic's Champions League away fixture against Barcelona, which resulted in additional outbound traffic.

Demand for domestic travel grew by 5.8%, while international traffic went up by 3.5%.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said: "Our recent growth has largely been driven by demand for international travel, so it is particularly pleasing to see our domestic routes perform so well.

"We enjoyed one of our busiest October school holiday weeks, with the majority of passengers heading to sunspots such as Dubai, Canary Islands, Turkey and Florida, and we also received the welcome news from Jet2.com that it is to expand its base at Glasgow Airport."

She added: "Maintaining growth will be challenging, especially as we enter the winter months, but we are committed to working with our airline and city partners to further strengthen our route network and to continue to provide passengers with greater choice."

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