SPORTING fixtures helped Scotland’s two biggest airports record sharp rises in passenger numbers last month, figures yesterday revealed.
Celtic’s Europa League clash with Inter Milan helped take Glasgow to its busiest February in eight years. The airport saw more than 510,000 passengers travel through its doors last month, an increase of 13.9 per cent on the same month a year earlier.
Meanwhile, rugby fans travelling to Murrayfield helped Edinburgh score an 8.2 per cent rise in passenger numbers last month. The capital’s airport saw 657,386 people travel through the terminal during the 28-day period.
It received a “healthy boost” from rugby fans travelling to Scotland from Wales and Italy for the RBS 6 Nations ties, bosses said.
Domestic passenger figures were up by 9.5 per cent on February last year while international passengers lifted 6.5 per cent.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We have a number of routes operating which weren’t in place last year and this has also helped drive our passenger numbers.
“We’re looking forward to a busy few months as we prepare to welcome even more new airlines to Edinburgh. Of course, we can only continue to drive passenger growth and our economy if our calls to reduce and abolish air passenger duty are answered.”
Glasgow Airport managing director Amanda McMillan said: “Our success in securing new routes and attracting airlines to Glasgow has translated into sustained passenger growth and we could not have asked for a better start to the year.
“The next three months will see the launch of a further 13 new routes including direct flights to Las Vegas, Munich, Prague and Halifax, Nova Scotia.”
Aberdeen registered a dip in its figures amid adverse weather conditions at some destination airports. A total of 253,004 passengers passed through the North-east terminal last month, a drop of 0.9 per cent on 2014 levels.
“Fixed-wing” numbers were down 1.4 per cent, year-on-year, but helicopter traffic maintained its growth with 41,070 passengers for the month, a 1.6 per cent increase.
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