Passenger numbers up at Highland airports

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The number of passengers using airports in the Highlands and Islands increased in January, despite the severe weather.

Figures released by Highlands and Islands Airports showed that it handled nearly 72,000 passengers in January, 9.7% up on the same month last year.

The figures also revealed that 962,265 fliers had used the 11 airports - which includes Dundee, down 6.1% on the last financial year.

The smaller airports like Barra and Islay showed the biggest growth.

However, Highlands and Islands Airports said that was based on relatively small numbers of passengers.

Inglis Lyon, managing director for HIA, said: "The winter in January 2010 was particularly extreme weather wise.

"This meant that there were a number of unavoidable flight cancellations across the group.

"Luckily, we have had a better January this year which has meant our group passenger figures have improved.

"Our year-to-date figures remain some 6.1% down year on year, but much of this has been attributed to extreme weather throughout December and volcanic ash flight disruption in April 2010."

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