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Passenger slowdown

Edinburgh Airport suffers first fall in growth for five years

Edinburgh airport

Fall in numbers: ‘growth is not guaranteed’

Edinburgh Airport saw its first fall in passenger growth for almost five years with October’s tally 1% lower than the same month last year.

A total of 1,309,170 passengers passed through the airport as Ryanair ended its Stansted service.

Apart from unusual disruption in March 2018 when the Beast from the East resulted in a 0.1% fall in passenger numbers, it’s the first time in five years that negative growth has been recorded.

Oct% vs Last Year
Domestic458,686-6.1%
International850,4842.0%
Total1,309,170-1.0%
MAT14,771,4724.8%
  • MAT is Moving Annual Total 

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’ve had almost 60 months of continuous growth and it’s unfortunate that we’ve seen this temporary fall in passenger numbers – something we earlier this year predicted would happen.

“It shows us that growth is not guaranteed and it is only possible with hard work and a collaborative approach. The arguments around ADT [air departure tax] are well known and we cannot hide the fact that we now have yet another obstacle to work around to deliver the growth that has become expected.

“Connectivity is important to Scotland and our initial talks with the Scottish Government about bringing the world closer to Scotland have been positive.

“We play our part in tourism, business, education, research and culture, so ensuring a sustainable future for the industry is very important. We need to work together to deliver that.”

The negative impact was softened by strong performance on other domestic routes:

  • Flybe added more frequencies to London Heathrow (from 4 daily to 6 daily)
  • easyJet’s Stansted route had more passengers than last October
  • Ryanair started a new route to Derry Londonderry (Nov 18)

International market recorded a +2.0% YoY growth due strong growth in the short-haul segment. These are the reasons for the traffic growth in more detail:

  • Ryanair
    • introduced 8 new international routes last winter: Seville, Tallinn, Berlin Schoenefeld, Stockholm Skavsta, Lisbon, Memmingen, Sofia & Riga
    • started 3 new routes this year: Billund, Luxembourg & Bucharest
  • Emirates launched a daily service to Dubai in October 2018
  • Qatar increased frequencies from daily to 10x weekly (double daily on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays)
  • Delta increased from 5x weekly to daily service to JFK
  • Jet2 operated 2 recently launched routes (Corfu & Bodrum)
  • Lufthansa started a new route to Munich in December 2018
  • Loganair started new routes to Bergen & Stavanger in May 2019
  • Great Dane started operating flights to Aalborg in June 2019
  • Lauda started operating a new route to Vienna in October 2019


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