Scotland’s largest airports have enjoyed increased passenger numbers, with Edinburgh and Aberdeen having their busiest year ever, and Glasgow having its busiest in several years.
Edinburgh Airport saw an increase of 6.3 per cent in 2013 with almost 9.8 million people passing through. These figures make Edinburgh the fifth busiest airport in the UK and in terms of airport passenger numbers, the third biggest in the UK, following London and Manchester.
Aberdeen Airport also celebrated its busiest ever year, with 3.48 million people passing through, a 3.79 per cent rise on the previous year. Of those, 517,526 were helicopter passengers. The previous record of 3.43 million in 2007 was just prior to the economic downturn.
The addition of airlines such as Wizz Air and Lufthansa Regional and their new routes contributed to the growth of international traffic. Continued strong performance from the airport’s long haul carriers Emirates, United and Virgin Atlantic, contributed to the reported growth of 2013 as well.
Glasgow Airport enjoyed its busiest year since 2008, with 7.4 million passengers passing through in 2013, an annual increase of 2.9 per cent.
Airport officials see this as representative of a recovery from the recession which hit the whole of the UK aviation sector. This number growth suggests renewed confidence amongst airlines and passengers, but many airlines are still operating in what remains a difficult economic environment.
There may be more records broken this year. The biggest sporting event in Scotland’s history, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, will be bringing an unprecedented number of travellers to Glasgow this summer.