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£60m loss looms

Flat fee for airport pick-up and drop-off

Taxi-rank-at-Airport

There is a new taxi rank

Edinburgh Airport will bring in a new charging regime for dropping off and picking up passengers as it faces a loss of £60 million.

It will introduce a £4 flat-fee for its drop-off £2 more) and pick-up (£1 less) areas and double drop-off time to 10 minutes.

There will be a discount of £2 for people with electric cars and a discount scheme for households in neighbouring areas. The free drop-off zone, temporarily moves to Mid-Stay.

A new £7 million East Terminus facility provides a dedicated area for taxis and private-hire cars.

The changes will come into effect from 9 November and will be supported by new signage in the area and social media activity.

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Feedback has been an important driver of these changes, but the “difficult decision” to make the changes has also been influenced by the severe impact of Covid-19 on the airport and the extremely challenging business conditions it finds itself in.

The airport says that with passenger numbers down 91% on last year and not expected to recover until 2022 at the earliest, a crucial part of the recovery will be remaining competitive to attract airlines and routes – and save as many jobs as possible.

The changes being introduced will increase revenue and assist the airport in finding a balance to remain competitive to deliver and preserve connectivity to and from Scotland.

The new East Terminus facility was started before the pandemic hit and has been prioritised to be completed given its impact on passenger experience.  It will be one of the last capital projects at the airport until financial conditions improve.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive, said: “The changes will make things easier to understand for users as requested in much of the feedback we received, as is the doubling in time for use in that area.

“We’ll also be offering incentives for those with electric cars as we move towards more sustainable methods of transport

“However, we can’t deny that the drastic impact of Covid-19 has also forced our hand on the pricing change.

“We are 91% down on passenger numbers, with less routes and airlines operating, and we’re having to operate with a quarantine policy that is a travel ban in all but name.

“All of that drastically impacts on finances and right now we stand to lose £60 million in 2020, which makes it incredibly difficult for us to remain competitive and attract back those airlines and routes in the coming months unless we increase revenue to survive a very bleak winter.

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“More importantly, we don’t want to lose more staff – we want to preserve as many jobs as possible.

“We’ve already had to say goodbye to a third of our workforce through no fault of their own and we’ve done that to right-size the airport, but forecasting future passenger numbers is almost impossible at the moment so we don’t quite know what size that’ll be.

“To make sure we are ready to recover then we have to have a staff base that allows us to do so.”

He added: “This is one of the airport’s biggest capital projects in recent times and was one we were keen to see through despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have to change to make access easier and the East Terminus is the first step in a wider project that will include a second access road.

“It’s also an example of how those charges are used to make improvements for all users and keep the airport competitive and attractive to airlines, who want to know their passengers can get to and from their start or end destinations as easily as possible.

“We’ll continue to make improvements where possible, but finances will clearly dictate.”

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