Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Festival helps 12% jump in Edinburgh Airport figures

Edinburgh Airport

The popularity of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe helped the city's airport record a near 12% jump in its August passenger numbers.

Edinburgh Airport saw 1,296,189 travellers pass through its doors last month, new figures show.

Officials said it represented an 11.9% increase on the same month the previous year with growth in both international (18.4%) and domestic passengers (2.1%).

Glasgow Airport said it has recorded its busiest summer yet.

Oil downturn

However, Aberdeen Airport, in an area hit heavily by the North Sea oil downturn, experienced a decrease of 11.7% in passenger numbers compared to the same point last year.

Exactly 283,739 people travelled through the north east airport last month, reflecting a decrease of more than 12% in domestic traffic and a decline of more than 9% in international traffic.

Carol Benzie Aberdeen Airport's managing director, said: "It's disappointing to see that our passenger numbers are currently being affected by the decline in the local economy, but our ongoing terminal transformation project shows that we are planning ahead and looking forward to a positive future.

"Our three-year project will see a 50% increase in the size of the existing terminal and is a significant investment for the city, in spite of the North Sea oil downturn."

The first phase of the £20m terminal transformation project is under way and is due to be completed by June next year.

Elsewhere, Glasgow Airport said it remains on course to have its busiest ever year.

More than 943,000 passengers used the hub in August, representing a 7.4% increase on the same point last year.

The figures mean that almost three million passengers used Glasgow Airport during the peak summer months, officials said.

Amanda McMillan, Glasgow Airport's managing director, said: "August was an extremely busy month for the airport."

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society recently announced that an estimated 2.47 million tickets had been issued for shows across Scotland's capital, reflecting a 7.7% increase compared with tickets issued by the same point the year before.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport chief executive, said: "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.

"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."

Edinburgh Airport apologised last week after almost 200 responses to a public consultation on altering flight paths above the capital were lost.

Officials extended the consultation's closing date by one week, to the end of Monday 19 September, to allow people to resubmit their feedback.

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