91% fall in traffic
Airport chief calls for testing as passenger numbers slump
Covid safety measures have been put in place but passengers are still few and far between
Edinburgh Airport saw passenger numbers collapse during the summer amid more talks aimed at introducing testing for coronavirus.
A total of 785,000 passengers passed through the facility between April and September, compared with 8.4 million in summer 2019.
The airport had been forecasting 8.8 million this year and the sharp fall means it does not expect to break even until 2021.
It believes that quarantine rules have been largely to blame for the drop in traffic and Gordon Dewar, chief executive, said he was in talks with the Scottish government about implementing testing at the airport.
He said the “ever-changing situation and near-constant changes to quarantine exemptions” meant forecasting for 2021 was “almost impossible”.
It is hoped an airport testing system could stop passengers having to quarantine after entering the country.
However, the Scottish government said quarantine would still be required even if there was testing at the airport.
Mr Dewar, said: “It’s been an incredibly difficult time for all of us and the scale of the recovery challenge that faces us is now really hitting home.
“We have spent years building growth in our passengers, routes and infrastructure, so to see all of that fall back is a concerning position for us to be in.
“Our business plans have been in a constant state of flux due to circumstances worsening, the introduction of and constant changes to quarantine, and of course all of this feeds into passenger confidence.
“We need to see a robust testing regime which will protect public health, provide reassurance and see travel and tourism begin to rebuild.”