Passenger numbers fall at three Scottish airports

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PASSENGER numbers at Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports all fell in February, according to figures released yesterday.

Edinburgh airport suffered the biggest drop, 7.8 per cent on the previous year even when taking into account the extra day in February 2012.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said he was confident traffic would pick up, especially as both Ryanair and EasyJet are launching new routes in the coming weeks.

Aberdeen and Glasgow, which are owned by operator Heathrow – formerly known as BAA – saw the number of passengers fall 1.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively last month.

But numbers at Heathrow itself rose 1 per cent to 4.85 million, a record for February, boosted by the merger of BA and Bmi. Adjusting for the fact that 2012 was a leap year, traffic was up 4.6 per cent. Because of the huge numbers involved, the growth at the London airport meant the wider group was also ahead year-on-year.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “This month’s figures reflect larger, fuller aircraft being used at Heathrow, not the addition of new routes to emerging economies which are so vital to UK trade, jobs and economic growth.”

Edinburgh airport was sold by Heathrow last year.