Scotland business

Ryder Cup increases air passengers at airports

Edinburgh Airport terminal building Image copyright Edinburgh Airport
Image caption Edinburgh Airport saw a 2.9% increase in passengers in September while Glasgow Airport recorded a 2.4% rise

Golf fans heading to the Ryder Cup helped boost passenger numbers at Scottish airports last month.

Edinburgh Airport saw a 2.9% increase in passengers in September while Glasgow Airport recorded a 2.4% rise.

Aberdeen Airport experienced a 6.8% rise on the previous year, handling 343,951 people over the month.

The capital's airport handled 987,674 travellers last month and saw more than four million passengers between June and September, its busiest summer ever.

It said the development in long-haul services to the US, Canada and the Middle East has driven the growth.

International passengers rose by 6.3% on 2013, though domestic passenger numbers saw a slight drop of 1.4% following the end of the easyJet service to London Southend.

'Hugely successful'

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "The Ryder Cup saw huge numbers of visitors to Scotland and we had one of our busiest departure days ever on the 29 September with all transatlantic flights and connections from Edinburgh full."

Glasgow Airport reported its 20th consecutive month of growth, handling 783,000 passengers in September which was a 2.4% increase on the same period last year.

The airport said international traffic, up 5.5% on last year, was the main driver of growth with airlines such as Emirates, Icelandair, KLM, United and US Airways all reporting an increase in demand.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: "The Ryder Cup was hugely successful in attracting visitors from across the globe to Scotland and we enjoyed a lift in passenger numbers as a direct result."

Aberdeen Airport said helicopter passenger numbers were up by 30% on the same period last year.

However it said much of that growth could be attributed to the knock-on effect in September 2013 of the grounding of much of the fleet after a Super Puma helicopter crashed off Shetland on 23 August last year with the loss of four lives.

Fixed-wing aircraft passenger numbers grew by 3.7%, with domestic travellers up 2.3% and international passenger numbers rising 6.4%.

Aberdeen Airport managing director Carol Benzie said: "It has been another great month for our passenger numbers which is very pleasing to see. We are reporting growth across the board once again."

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