Drop in Scots airport passengers in July and further decline of Glasgow

11.8.2010 (BBC and Herald)

Two of Scotland’s biggest airports recorded drops in passenger numbers last month.

Glasgow Airport said it handled 789,000 passengers in July – 3.6% fewer than
during the same month last year.

Passenger numbers at Aberdeen Airport also fell by by 4.1% to 270,000, operator
BAA said.

There was better news for Scotland’s busiest airport, Edinburgh, which saw its
numbers increase slightly by 0.6% to 961,000.

The Scottish figures were in contrast to those for Heathrow Airport, which had
its busiest ever month in July 2010, with a total of 6.7 million passengers passing
through the west London airport.

But the other two airports run by BAA – Stansted and Southampton – also reported
drops of 7.2% and 1.4% respectively.

Overall, BAA’s six airports handled nearly 58.5 million passengers in the first
seven months of this year – a 4.5% drop on the January-July 2009 total.



see also


Edinburgh flying past Glasgow

by Damian Henderson, Transport Correspondent

Edinburgh airport

Nearly 200,000 more passengers are flying every month from Edinburgh compared
to Glasgow, only three years after it took over as Scotland’s favourite airport,
new figures show.

Last month saw more than 960,000 people pass through the doors of the capital’s
airport, a marginal improvement year-on-year, while both Glasgow and Aberdeen
airports saw a further dip in passenger numbers.

Overall, Scotland’s three biggest airports saw 137,000 fewer passengers in July
compared to two years ago, the figures by owner BAA showed.

However, the airport owner was boosted by a strong performance at Heathrow, the
UK’s biggest airport, which saw its busiest month on record in July as well as
its busiest day, with 232,000 passengers on July 18.

The biggest boost to airlines came from European charter flights, with a 20.7%
increase in passengers travelling to and from the continent, while long-haul traffic
increased by 0.4%. However, domestic traffic – much of it between Scotland and
London – was 4.6% lower than last year.

In Scotland, additional capacity helped deliver a 6.6% increase in European passengers.
At the individual airports, Aberdeen’s traffic fell by 4.1%, Edinburgh grew by
0.6% and Glasgow recorded a drop of 3.6%.

The mixed performance follows a turbulent two years for the aviation industry,
with a huge drop in passenger numbers and several airlines going out of business
in 2009, followed by the crisis caused by shutting down European airspace earlier
this year due to ash from an volcano eruption in Iceland.

Aviation analysts said that Edinburgh’s ability to withstand the effects of the
recession are down to the capital’s stronger economic performance and its attraction
as a tourist destination. Much of the growth has been down to the expansion of
Ryanair, which has a base there. But it has also gained over Glasgow and Aberdeen
as airlines have chosen to consolidate their operations over the last two years,
experts claimed.

Edinburgh’s continued growth has come despite a festering row over a decision
to charge a £1 fee for people dropping off or picking up passengers.

Gavin Brown, Scottish Tory MSP for Lothians, said he had nearly 5000 signatures
on a petition against the move and urged the airport’s new managing director,
Kevin Brown, to reconsider the move.

"This decision will be hugely damaging for Edinburgh’s reputation," Mr Brown
said. "People are strongly against it now, but it is only when it comes into force
that we will see real resentment about this drop-off-rip-off charge."

However, Kevin Brown said he would press ahead with the charges. "I have been
out on the forecourt at peak times and despite there only being spaces for 15
to 18 cars, when I was there I saw 35 cars," he said yesterday.

"We are trying to encourage people not to use the inner roads around the airport.
I don’t think anybody is happy about having to pay £1 – nobody wants to pay –
but there’s an understanding about the amount of investment we’re putting into
the airport."

The problems at Glasgow International Airport, which last year saw the cancellation
of a planned rail link by the Scottish Government, have been exacerbated by competition
from nearby Prestwick Airport.

The latest figures available show a modest improvement in passenger numbers in
June, with nearly 175,000 people travelling through the airport – nearly 50,000
fewer than in 2008.

Francois Bourienne, commercial director at Glasgow Airport, said that despite
a hugely challenging year, he was confident that passenger demand is strengthening.

"July saw the best year-on-year performance of the past 12 months, which is obviously
encouraging and reflects the strength of our long-haul network and a renewed confidence
in the charter market," he said.

link to article



see also


In July BAA’s airports handled 0.3% more passengers than in July 2009

Heathrow  had its highest number of passengers during July, up +3.5% compared
to July 2009 (which was itself up +0.9% compared to July 2008).   However, for
BAA’s UK airports as a whole, passengers were up by only + 03% this July, and
they were down yet again at Stansted, – 7.2%.   Passengers were down -3.6% at Glasgow,
down – 1.4% at Southampton, down – 4.1% at Aberdeen, but up +0.6% at Edinburgh.  
Air transport movements were down slightly – 0.4% for all BAA’s UK airports, and
air cargo was up by   +17.9% .
The main source of passenger growth at Heathrow was the European market, BAA
said. Across all airports, European passengers increased by +2.9%, while long-haul
traffic was up by +0.5%. But domestic traffic was -4.6% lower than last year.    
10.8.2010   More …..