Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Airport sees busiest-ever March

Edinburgh Airport
Image caption Edinburgh Airport has recorded the busiest ever March for a Scottish airport

Edinburgh Airport has recorded the busiest ever March for a Scottish airport with more than 956,000 passengers using the terminal.

The total was up 4.1% on the same month last year with international passenger numbers "particularly strong".

Glasgow Airport also reported its busiest March on record after more than 700,000 passengers took flights.

Aberdeen International Airport saw an increase in numbers as well, with 247,000 passengers.

Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh Airport's Chief Executive, said: "March's passenger figures underline Edinburgh Airport's growing international ambitions and ongoing demand to fly to and from this great city.

"We have seen another solid increase in the number of international passengers which highlights the ever-increasing draw of Edinburgh as a global destination.

"An increase in visitors to the city stimulates the economy, creates new jobs and offers direct international links for all of Scotland.

"As we move into the final few weeks of our public consultation on airspace change I would urge everyone in our neighbouring communities with a view on our preferred flightpath options to respond before our consultation closes on 7 May."

Image copyright McAteer Photograph
Image caption Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport which saw a 7% increase in passengers on the same period last year

Glasgow Airport saw a 7% increase in passengers on the same period last year.

The airport said demand for EU destinations increased by 20.5% with services to Paris, Valencia, Lisbon and Berlin all performing well.

Long haul carriers Emirates and Virgin Atlantic, which has increased capacity on its Orlando service, both saw an uplift in passenger numbers. This contributed to an overall increase in international traffic of 13.7%.

Domestic traffic grew by 1.4% with British Airways, easyJet and Flybe all reporting an increase in demand for their London and UK regional services.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport said: "Our performance during the first quarter of 2017 has ensured we've made our busiest-ever start to any year.

"Our continued growth is a direct result of our efforts in securing new routes and services for our passengers.

"We have succeeded in significantly strengthening our European connectivity since the start of 2016 and later this year we will launch direct flights to Madrid, Frankfurt and Krakow."

Image caption Carol Benzie, managing director of Aberdeen International Airport where numbers were up 1% on last year

Aberdeen International Airport's figures represented an increase of 1% compared to the same period last year.

There was a 4.3% increase in international traffic and the total number of domestic passengers increased by 2.4%. Helicopter traffic was down 11%.

In recent months the airport saw the return of Ryanair, which introduced direct flights to Malaga and Alicante, and March saw the launch of Flybe's new Heathrow service.

The airline will operate three daily flights to what is the UK's only hub airport. Latvian airline AirBaltic will launch direct flights to Riga in May.

Carol Benzie, managing director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: "We have taken a great deal of encouragement from our performance over the past three months.

"It was apparent at the end of 2016 that the decline was slowing and whilst it is great to see our passenger figures for March return to growth we are still operating in what remains an extremely challenging marketplace."

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