EDINBURGH Airport said today that last month had been its most successful ever for new routes as it announced passenger numbers increased by 3.5 per cent to 937,093 compared to a year ago.
Seven routes were launched in May, including Qatar Airways flights to Doha, providing Scotland’s busiest airport with a long-sought Middle Eastern hub for one-stop connections to Asia and Australia.
Long-haul flights to Chicago and Philadelphia were also established, along with new European routes to Bodrum, Heraklion, Verona and Zurich.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said that last month was its most successful month on record for new business.
He said: “May was a tremendous month for us. We enjoyed two of our most successful weeks ever when we launched four international airline routes, something which we’ve never experienced before.”
International flights accounted for 55 per cent of the airport’s passengers, increasing by 5.7 per cent to 517,543.
Total passengers on UK flights were up by 0.9 per cent to 419,550.
Mr Dewar added: “With the school summer holidays just around the corner, coupled with the Ryder Cup and Edinburgh Festival, we’re looking forward to welcoming many thousands of passengers through our airport over the coming weeks.”
However, the chief executive will be keeping fingers crossed that the airport will be able to cope with the influx better than last summer, when he admitted it had come “close to the edge” after record passenger numbers threatened to overwhelm the terminal on one day in August.
Passengers were forced to queue for nearly three hours after a series of faults caused chaos.
There were problems with one third of the 46 check-in desks, which was accompanied by a major baggage system breakdown.
The airport has said improvements have since been accelerated to be completed in half the original timescale, some brought forward from next year.
These have included more self-service check-ins and baggage drop-off points, and earlier check-in times for several airlines.
Groups travelling now have a separate check-in, while new scanners have speeded up security checks and staff have had extra customer-service training.