PASSENGER growth at Edinburgh airport accelerated last month to a record June after its figures were in the doldrums for a year, thanks to new routes by EasyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic.
Scotland’s busiest airport announced today it handled 956,562 passengers, up 8.4 per cent on a year ago - speeding up its long-awaited return to growth, which started with a 7.4 per cent rise in May. It handles 9.2 million a year and is the sixth busiest in the UK.
Officials said new routes such as EasyJet’s to Hamburg and Berlin had added passengers, along with more flights to Turkish Airlines’ hub in Istanbul.
Heathrow traffic also increased thanks to Virgin Atlantic competing against BA on the route since April, with BA’s figures also up, partially because of adding extra flights since it took over former rival Bmi last year.
The sale, which led to uncertainty among passengers, was a major factor in Edinburgh seeing traffic levels decline over the last year.
The airport now expects to handle more than 1 million passengers for the first time this month, which would make July its busiest month ever.
Chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “It’s great to see we’re continuing our record-breaking summer season, with both May and June seeing the highest number of passengers ever.
“It’s hugely encouraging to see another positive increase to our domestic and international traffic figures, which are continuing to rise as a result of good performances from our domestic airlines and the introduction of new international routes.”
Mr Dewar also appeared to hint at Edinburgh’s ambition to grow further, including win more long-haul flights, over which rival Glasgow continues to have the lion’s share.
In a reference to the airport’s current slogan, he said: “We’re looking forward to a great summer which will continue to see Edinburgh airport be the place where Scotland meets the world.”
Scotland’s other major airports are due to announce their June figures on Thursday.