Scotland business

'Record' February for Glasgow and Edinburgh airports

Edinburgh and Glasgow airports

Scotland's two biggest airports have reported their busiest February on record for passenger traffic.

Edinburgh Airport said it handled 770,265 passengers last month - with international traffic up by 30.4% on a year ago.

Glasgow Airport saw 582,879 passengers travel through its doors, representing an annual increase of 14.1%.

However, both Aberdeen and Glasgow Prestwick airports reported falls in traffic.

'Global ambitions'

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: "February's passenger numbers have broken another monthly record and act as further indication of just how big Edinburgh Airport's global ambitions are.

"Edinburgh Airport and our partner airlines are continuing to offer greater choice with more routes and more destinations - and passengers are responding by flying in and out of Edinburgh directly in greater numbers than ever before.

Image copyright PA

"People ask me how much more Edinburgh Airport can grow in a country with little over five million people; it is not the five million I am worried about - but how the other seven billion across the globe get to visit us."

Glasgow Airport, which this year is marking its golden anniversary, said its figures for February had been boosted by strong demand on European routes to Berlin, Reykjavik and Milan.

Aer Lingus also added capacity on its Dublin service, and Eurowings reported particularly strong demand on its Dusseldorf route.

'Huge milestone'

Domestic traffic increased by 14.8%, with Flybe's services to Exeter and Cardiff performing strongly. British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair also reported strong demand for their London services.

Glasgow Airport managing director Amanda McMillan said: "This year marks a huge milestone for the airport as we celebrate our golden anniversary year.

"What makes that even more exciting is the fact that we are continuing to see our passenger numbers grow at record rates, following our success in 2015 securing more than 30 new routes and services.

"We are continuing to make improvements in our airport to accommodate this growth and will be investing significantly this year in a comprehensive airside terminal redevelopment which will include new catering and retail outlets."

'No surprise'

Meanwhile, nearly 220,000 passengers travelled through Aberdeen International Airport during February - a fall of 13.3% compared to the same period last year.

Domestic traffic was down 16.3% to 126,849 passengers, which the airport said was due in part to the withdrawal in September of Little Red's Heathrow service.

International traffic dipped by 1.8% to 59,332 passengers.

Carol Benzie, managing director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: "It is no surprise that our passenger numbers are continuing to be affected by the performance of the wider economy.

"Despite this, we had cause for celebration when we welcomed Icelandair's inaugural Reykjavik service earlier this week, which is one of a number of new routes we will launch during 2016."

Glasgow Prestwick Airport said passenger numbers fell year-on-year by 5% last month, to 18,314 but added that the total was "in excess" of what had been forecast.

A spokeswoman added: "With additional flights confirmed for summer and winter 2016 schedules, we expect to see increased passenger numbers over the course of this year."

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