Highland airports suffer slump in passenger traffic

PASSENGER numbers slumped by more than 15 per cent across Highland and Islands Airports' network last month as the harsh winter weather took its toll.

Dundee was the only airport to post a rise in passenger traffic – up 4.6 per cent year on year – with Inverness down by 19 per cent and Campbeltown's figure dropping 26 per cent.

Some of the island airports were among the worst affected, with Barra's passenger numbers down by 27 per cent and Benbecula suffering a 29 per cent fall. Inglis Lyon, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airports, said: "In addition to disruption experienced at the regions' airports, the services were equally impacted by days of closure at London and other airports in England as well as the Central Belt.

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"It was particularly disappointing as the November figures showed our work with the airlines – in terms of adding additional frequencies to the winter – had paid off and that the downturn in traffic was enjoying a reversal."

In total, Highlands and Islands Airports carried 65,500 passengers last month, down from 77,600 in January 2009.