Scotland business

Scottish airports report rise in passenger numbers

Edinburgh Airport
Image caption Edinburgh Airport recorded its fourth consecutive month of record traffic

Passenger traffic rose at Scotland's three major airports last month, BAA has announced.

Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports handled a total of more than 1.9 million people, a 6.1% rise on June 2010.

Edinburgh was Scotland's busiest BAA air hub, recording 918,900 passengers in June - an increase of 7.6% on the previous year.

It was the fourth consecutive month of record traffic for the capital.

The fastest growth was recorded at Aberdeen, where passenger numbers rose 10.1% to 287,800.

In Glasgow, 702,800 people passed through the airport, a rise of 2.6% on the previous year.

An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said the choice of direct flights was helping to drive growth.

He said: "June's fantastic performance was driven by our ever expanding choice in leisure and holiday destinations.

"For many Scots, these direct flights offer an easy alternative to jet off to the sun or to relax on a city break.

"2011 has been a year of growth for us and we're confident that this trend will continue through a busy summer period."

Cargo traffic

Across the UK, the company's six airports handled a total of 9.9 million passengers - up 4.4% on the June 2010 total.

However, cargo traffic fell by 48.5% in Glasgow and by 16.9% in Edinburgh.

Aberdeen was the only Scottish airport to see a rise in cargo traffic, up 16% on the previous year.

BAA said growth in the global air freight market continued to slow as the strong post-recession recovery phase was coming to an end.

At the end of March, BAA was told by the Competition Commission it should sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

BAA has mounted a string of legal challenges to try to keep them ever since the commission initially ruled in 2009 the operator must sell three of its seven UK airports.

It has already sold Gatwick Airport.

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