HIAL passenger numbers up by 8,000

Posted: 18 June 2013 | New Horizon Media | No comments yet

Scotland’s regional airports gained more than 8,000 additional passengers last month according to latest figures…


Scotland’s regional airports gained more than 8,000 additional passengers last month according to latest figures.

HIAL’s 11 airports handled 122,546 passengers in May, an increase of 8,180 on May 2012 (+7.2%).

Continuing oil sector growth saw Sumburgh attract an extra 4,967 passengers (+29.3%), while Wick John O’Groats recorded an additional 2,796 passengers in May (+123%).

At Kirkwall, strong demand for inter-island routes and scheduled flights to Aberdeen, Inverness and Shetland, saw passenger numbers rise by 2,471 (+17.2%).

At Inverness, growth on the flagship Amsterdam service, coupled with increased domestic traffic, saw passenger numbers rise by 1,406 over the previous May (+2.5%). In a further boost, easyJet is to provide additional seasonal flights between the Highland capital and London Gatwick from next month.

The Western Isles airports (Stornoway, Benbecula and Barra) all reported a drop in passenger numbers as a result of recent schedule changes. Dundee’s passenger numbers were similarly down on last year.

Passenger numbers were also down at Islay, Tiree and Campbeltown.

However, a new Sunday service between Glasgow and Campbeltown – launched this month – is expected to provide a boost for tourism in the Kintyre peninsula, enabling golfing trips and weekend breaks.

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of HIAL said: “The continuing success of flybe’s Inverness to Amsterdam service is welcome news for the region and highlights the importance of Schiphol as a world hub for the north. However, it is vital that the region continues to push for access to London’s main airports, and we are working closely with easyJet and others to grow the hugely successful Gatwick market. At the same time, we would urge the UK Government to do more to safeguard regional links into London.”

He added: “Across the board, HIAL’s airports attracted an additional 8,000 passengers last month, with strong growth across our northern airports.

“Elsewhere, recent schedule changes continue to have an impact on passenger numbers, notably in the Western Isles and at Dundee.

“We remain focused on providing additional choice for passengers in those areas, and across our network. The recent addition of Sunday flights at Campbeltown is a welcome move and could provide an economic boost for the region, as too will the return of scheduled flights to Bergen from Inverness, Kirkwall and Sumburgh.”

Flybe franchise partner Loganair resumed twice weekly flights from Inverness, Kirkwall and Sumburgh to Bergen on 8 June. Flights will operate every Wednesday and Saturday until 31 August 2013.

Sunday flights from Glasgow to Campbeltown will operate from 16 June until 29 September 2013.

easyJet will operate additional flights from Inverness to London Gatwick from 23 July until 5 September. Flights will depart Inverness every Tuesday and Thursday at 8.45pm. These flights also operated during the summer 2012 schedule.

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