PASSENGER numbers at Scotland’s two largest airports rose last month as new routes launched.
More than 600,000 people travelled through Glasgow Airport in March, a 14 per cent increase on the same period last year, while Edinburgh saw a 6.8 per cent rise.
Glasgow’s air hub saw its busiest month in seven years, with international traffic up 22.3 per cent due to strong demand to European destinations.
Domestic traffic grew by 8.2 per cent with British Airways, Flybe and Loganair all reporting a strong demand for London and regional services.
A number of routes launched last month including a double daily service to Bournemouth and a new service to Carcassonne in France, while Virgin Atlantic restarted its direct flight to Florida.
Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “2015 has got off to a tremendous start and we are continuing to enjoy significant increases in our passenger numbers as a result of our popular and growing list of destinations.
2015 has got off to a tremendous start and we are continuing to enjoy significant increases in our passenger numbers.Amanda McMillan, MD of Glasgow Airport
“Our international network continues to go from strength to strength and over the next three months we will see the launch of a further 13 new routes including direct flights to Las Vegas, Munich, Prague and a daily service to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Our recently announced new services to Budapest and Lublin starting later this year are also going to be incredibly popular with our growing customer base.”
More than 790,000 people travelled through Edinburgh Airport last month, with domestic passenger numbers up by 8.7 per cent on the previous year.
The airport said increased services to Dublin, Barcelona and Rome with Ryanair, the new twice-weekly service to Madeira with easyJet, as well as increased services to Lisbon and Reykjavik helped drive a 4.7 per cent increase in international traffic.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “March was a strong month for us and we saw a significant increase in the number of passengers travelling through our airport.
“Our biggest growth was in domestic traffic, which increased by 8.7 per cent with more services to London airports with Ryanair, Flybe and BA Cityflyer.
“The final home match of the RBS 6Nations also helped boost passenger numbers with over 31,000 Irish rugby fans travelling through the terminal.
“We’re now officially in the summer schedule and have already welcomed several new airlines and routes, including new services to the Faroe Islands with Atlantic Airways, Malaga with Norwegian, Copenhagen with SAS and Madrid with Iberia Express. We’re sure these will be popular choices for our passengers over the coming months.”
Aberdeen Airport saw a slight drop in March passenger numbers, which at 284,755 were down -1.5 per cent on 2014.
Helicopter traffic grew by 3.1 per cent compared with the same month last year, whilst overall domestic travel at the airport increased by 0.8 per cent.
Airport managing director Carol Benzie said: “We have seen continued positive growth in domestic fixed wing and helicopter traffic for the month and a minor reduction in passengers travelling internationally, which has resulted in a marginal reduction when compared with March 2014 figures.
“We have already had a busy start to April with the Easter holiday break, and we saw over 7,000 passengers travel through the airport over the bank holiday weekend.”
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