Football Fans Boost Airport Numbers

11 March 2015, 12:03

Celtic's Europa League clash with Inter Milan helped take Glasgow Airport to its busiest February in eight years, new figures show.

The airport saw more than 510,000 passengers travel through its doors last month, an increase of 13.9% on the same period the previous year.

Meanwhile, rugby fans travelling to Murrayfield helped Edinburgh Airport score an 8.2% rise in February passenger numbers

But bad weather in other locations saw Aberdeen Airport record a small dip in its figures for last month.

Glasgow Airport said it could not have asked for a better start to the year and has now recorded its 24th consecutive month of growth.

Domestic traffic grew by nearly 7% and international traffic grew by almost 25%, largely due to the continued demand for its eastern European destinations.

The Celtic-Inter Milan tie at Parkhead also saw thousands of football fans descend on the city to watch the dramatic match, which resulted in a 3-3 draw.

Airport managing director Amanda McMillan said: "Our success in securing new routes and attracting airlines to Glasgow has translated into sustained passenger growth and we could not have asked for a better start to the year.

"The next three months will see the launch of a further 13 new routes including direct flights to Las Vegas, Munich, Prague and Halifax, Nova Scotia.''

The capital's airport saw 657,386 people travel through the terminal last month.

It received a "healthy boost'' from rugby fans travelling to Scotland from Wales and Italy for the RBS 6 Nations ties, bosses said.

Domestic passenger figures were up by 9.5% on February last year while international passengers rose by 6.5%.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "After starting the New Year on a solid footing we enjoyed a strong February with our passenger numbers up over 8%.

"This is great news for our airlines, our passengers and Edinburgh's economy as many people no doubt travelled here for the RBS 6 Nations.''

Aberdeen International Airport recorded a total of 253,004 passengers through its doors last month, a drop of 0.9% on 2014 levels.

"Fixed-wing'' passenger numbers were down 1.4% on last year but helicopter traffic maintained its growth with 41,070 passengers for the month, a 1.6% increase.

Managing director Carol Benzie said the "marginal'' drop in passenger figures overall was in line with expectations following some weather issues, mainly at other airports.

She said: "We saw a small level of impact from adverse weather in other locations, but also we have said we would be unlikely to maintain such a high growth percentage month on month, and would likely see a levelling-out on passenger levels over the coming year.

"The results still show continued growth in helicopter operations and strong numbers across our leisure routes, and we continue to work with our operators to put the final touches to our busy summer schedule''.

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