Passenger numbers break 600,000 mark at Glasgow Airport

Glasgow Airport has made a 'strong start' to 2017 after passenger numbers for February passed the 600,000 mark, travel chiefs said.

Amanda McMillan said our European network continues to grow and will be strengthened significantly in 2017. Picture: McAteer Photograph

Official figures showed more than 603,000 people passed through its doors last month, an increase of 7.7 per cent from February 2016.

Airport officials said a 20.3 per cent rise in international travel – to destinations such as Barcelona, Brussels and Paris – was the driving force behind the increase. Domestic traffic showed a slight decline of 1.4 per cent while long-haul services rose by 6.6 per cent.

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Managing director Amanda McMillan said: “We’ve made a strong start to the year and our efforts to secure new routes and provide an even greater destination choice for our passengers continues.

“Our European network continues to grow and will be strengthened significantly in 2017 with the launch of several new Ryanair routes, including Lisbon, Valencia and Palanga, in Lithuania, this month.

“Services to Madrid, Frankfurt, Krakow and the Croatian city Zadar will follow later in the year.

“The next two months will also see the introduction of new routes to Dubrovnik, Bergen and the launch of Delta’s new direct service to JFK.”

Meanwhile, almost 213,000 passengers travelled through Aberdeen Airport in February, representing an increase of 1 per cent.

The airport saw a 4.6 per cent rise in international traffic, with domestic passengers increasing by 2 per cent.

The figures come after the airport reported in January it had experienced its lowest decline for almost two years.

Managing director Carol Benzie said: “Clearly the outlook for the North-east remains challenging, however our passenger numbers do suggest the decline is slowing somewhat and the outlook is perhaps not quite as stark as it was 12 months ago.

“We are also strengthening our international connectivity and having successfully launched direct flights to ­Alicante and Malaga, Ryanair will introduce its Faro service in May.

“AirBaltic will also introduce its Riga service during the same month.”

Edinburgh Airport last week announced a 13.6 per cent increase in international traffic, resulting in the busiest February ever at a Scottish airport.

A total of 811,804 travellers passed through the airport last month, up 5.4 per cent from last year.