Passenger numbers at Scotland’s three main airports rose strongly last month, with international routes helping to fuel growth.
Figures published yesterday revealed that Edinburgh Airport witnessed the biggest increase, followed by Aberdeen and Glasgow.
The capital’s airport handled 607,723 passengers in February, a 7.8 per cent rise on the same month last year.
International passenger numbers jumped 11.6 per cent to 269,235, driven by the introduction of extra EasyJet routes last March and the addition of a second daily Lufthansa service to Frankfurt.
Domestic passenger numbers increased by 4.9 per cent, with 338,488 people travelling through Edinburgh’s terminal last month.
The airport said the growth was due to an increase in passengers travelling to Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic Little Red and to Gatwick with British Airways.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “February was another strong month for us and we’re pleased to see a healthy rise in our passenger figures. We performed well internationally in February with great results from Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, whose daily flight on larger aircraft has led to a 97.7 per cent increase in passenger numbers compared to last year.
“We’re looking forward to the start of a busy summer schedule and the launch of ten new routes between March and June, including Chicago, Philadelphia and Doha in May.”
Aberdeen Airport saw a 6.5 per cent increase in passenger numbers, with 255,416 people passing through last month. It reported growth in both the fixed wing and helicopter operations.
Managing director Carol Benzie welcomed the results as “good news”, adding: “In the coming weeks, we will begin our summer schedule.
“This will see an increase in the amount of holiday traffic as new charter destinations continue to be added, such as Corfu for sun-seekers.
“Our scheduled operation is also growing, with the new service to Riga about to take off and another service to Oslo.”
At Glasgow Airport, passenger numbers were up 6 per cent on February 2013, with 448,465 people passing through last month.
The airport said it was a particularly strong month for international traffic, which rose by nearly 13 per cent to 174,236 due to demand for long-haul services and a number of airlines such as Icelandair, Jet2.com and KLM adding capacity.
Domestic traffic rose by 2 per cent to 274,229, with strong demand for London and regional services, while CityJet’s new Cardiff service also proved popular.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “It is very pleasing to have continued our positive start to 2014, which promises to be a very exciting year.
“We are looking forward to the launch of Citywing’s new service to the Isle of Man and in April we will become the first Scottish airport to welcome the A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, when Emirates will operate a one-off service to mark ten years of serving Scotland.
“April will signal the start of our busy summer schedule and passengers will notice a great deal of work in the terminal as we continue to invest in new and improved facilities.”