'Bitter sweet' data

Airport breaks record despite slowing of passenger growth

Edinburgh Airport

Passenger growth at Edinburgh has declined (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh Airport has recorded the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport but the domestic market has contracted on a year ago.

Cancelled flights due to adverse weather, Ryanair cutting its Stansted frequencies from 4 per day to 4 per week and air traffic disputes elsewhere contributed to a 6.3% downturn on July last year.

Despite those issues, the airport beat the record for the second time as a total of 1,508,586 passengers passed through in July 2019. The figures are up 0.4% on the same month last year.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive at Edinburgh Airport, said:“It’s a bittersweet month for us – we’ve just recorded the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport for the second time, but it comes as we see a marked slowdown in growth.

“The fall in domestic travel has clearly had an impact and although there is growth internationally we cannot ignore the loss of routes over the past year, such as Norwegian pulling their transatlantic services.

“We previously warned that failure to cut the highest aviation tax in the world have an adverse effect on growth and this appears to be coming to fruition. Our industry hears the government’s concerns around the climate but the positive steps taken towards making aviation more sustainable have not been considered.

“Like all businesses, we are looking at how we make our operations more sustainable and how we can influence the wider industry to continue on that positive path. 

“The airport campus employs around 7,000 people and as a business overall we support 23,000 jobs across Scotland – we have to find a way that delivers sustainable growth to ensure continued success for our economy.”

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