Edinburgh Airport saw the busiest January ever with 837,542 passengers passing through Scotland’s busiest airport last month, a 7.1% increase on January 2017 while Glasgow Airport saw a 3% decrease to 579,888 passengers passing through its doors.
Aberdeen International Airport also had a positive start to 2018 with 220,427 passengers passing through – an increase of 6.4% or 13,342 passengers over January 2017.
Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar said:
“This is another positive set of results which demonstrates the continued pull that Edinburgh and Scotland has as a destination, and of the variety of destinations that we can offer to those looking to get away.
“In 2018 we’ll be looking to build on the success we’ve had over recent years and continue to open Scotland to the world, and we are preparing for that growth by investing in our infrastructure.
“However, we cannot let these figures cloud judgement on the delayed cut to Air Departure Tax. We’ve shown time and time again that the tourism sector is a success story for Scotland – we should not be capping that success by imposing this restrictive policy. The government must deliver this cut and allow the industry to capitalise and deliver greater economic growth and the promise we all know it has.”
Francois Bourienne, Glasgow Airport’s commercial director, said: “January is traditionally a quieter period for the airport, however, our passenger numbers were affected by adverse weather conditions which resulted in a number of flights being cancelled. The suspension of United’s winter service to Newark and Ryanair’s Stansted route were also contributing factors.
“January’s passenger numbers are a clear reminder that we cannot take our air connections for granted as the airport continues to face stiff global competition when it comes to attracting new routes and maintaining existing ones.
“Route development will continue to be a key focus and whilst we are looking forward to welcoming a number of new routes this year including Lufthansa’s daily service to Frankfurt in March, we are in no doubt that 2018 is going to be a challenging year for the airport and the wider industry.
“Against the backdrop of continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the Scottish Government’s proposed 50% reduction in Air Passenger Duty would deliver a much-needed competitive edge and provide airlines with the confidence to invest further in Scotland.”
Carol Benzie, managing director of Aberdeen International Airport, said: “We are delighted to see January’s passenger numbers which reflect a promising start to the New Year for us at AIAL.
“Our international fixed wing traffic saw a double digit increase during January which is highly encouraging and suggestive of the increasing popularity of our winter leisure offering. Our domestic fixed wing traffic also saw a significant increase versus January of last year which is, in part, due to the propensity of offshore workers to use fixed wing routes instead of direct Helicopter options.
“Starting 2018 with these encouraging figures we are now looking forward to the launch of two new leisure routes in the coming months, Malta and Reus, which, we hope, will be as well received and popular as our existing route offerings.”