Glasgow Airport passenger numbers surge while its Edinburgh rival sees continued decline

UNDERDOG Glasgow airport trounced Edinburgh with 4.3 per cent passenger growth December - while its rival’s dipped for a sixth month in a row, by 1.8%.

Glasgow, which trails Edinburgh by nearly 2 million annual passengers, also celebrated its busiest year in 2012 for three years, with a total of 7.2m - a 4.2 per cent increase.

The airport attributed the growth to new routes, such as Barcelona and Rome, with a second daily flight added to Dubai, popular for travellers en route to Asia and Australia.

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Edinburgh airport admitted 2012, when it was sold by BAA to Gatwick airport owner GIP, had been “challenging”.

Edinburgh’s 2012 total fell by 2 per cent to 9.2m.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “It’s clear we lost some momentum at the beginning of the year due to the sale process and the last months of BAA ownership.”

However, he was optimistic about returning to growth, with new flights being launched this year by EasyJet, Air Canada, and Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow.