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Busiest ever month for a Scottish airport

Posted: 16th August 2019

Record month despite slowdown in growth.

Edinburgh Airport has recorded the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport for the second time as a total of 1,508,586 passengers passed through in July 2019.

The figures are up 0.4% on the same month last year, but growth is down from 6.3% in July 2018.

Jul % vs Last Year
Domestic 475,757 -4.7%
International 1,032,829 +3.0%
Total 1,508,586 +0.4%
MAT Total 14,763,216 +6.5%


Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:

“It’s a bittersweet month for us – we’ve just recorded the busiest ever month for a Scottish airport for the second time, but it comes as we see a marked slowdown in growth.

“The fall in domestic travel has clearly had an impact and although there is growth internationally we cannot ignore the loss of routes over the past year, such as Norwegian pulling their transatlantic services.

“We previously warned that failure to cut the highest aviation tax in the world have an adverse effect on growth and this appears to be coming to fruition. Our industry hears the government’s concerns around the climate but the positive steps taken towards making aviation more sustainable have not been considered.

“Like all businesses, we are looking at how we make our operations more sustainable and how we can influence the wider industry to continue on that positive path. The airport campus employs around 7,000 people and as a business overall we support 23,000 jobs across Scotland – we have to find a way that delivers sustainable growth to ensure continued success for our economy.”


Domestic market was behind -4.7% vs July 2018 due to the following reasons:

  • Ryanair cut Stansted frequencies from 4 per day to 4 per week
  • Increased number of flight cancellations due to adverse weather conditions and resulting ATC issues at other UK airports

This negative impact was partially softened by strong performance on other domestic routes:

  • Flybe added more frequencies to London Heathrow (from 4 daily to 6 daily)
  • Loganair started new routes to Guernsey (May 19) and Islay (Mar 19)
  • Ryanair started a new route to Derry (Nov 18)

International market recorded a +3.0% YoY growth due new route growth and a positive trend on long-haul routes. These are the reasons for the traffic growth in more detail:

  • Ryanair
    • introduced 8 new international routes last winter: Seville, Tallinn, Berlin Schoenefeld, Stockholm Skavsta, Lisbon, Memmingen, Sofia & Riga
    • started 2 new routes this year: Billund & Luxembourg
  • Emirates launched a daily service to Dubai in October 2018
  • Qatar increased frequencies from daily to 10x weekly (double daily on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays)
  • Delta increased from 5x weekly to daily service to JFK & launched a new route to Boston this May
  • Hainan Airlines launched a new service to Beijing in June 2018
  • Air Canada started the season earlier than last year
  • Jet2 started 3 new routes this year (Corfu, Bodrum & Bourgas)
  • Lufthansa started a new route to Munich in December 2018
  • Loganair started new routes to Bergen & Stavanger in May 2019
  • Alitalia is operating a seasonal service to Milan this summer
  • Great Dane started operating flights to Aalborg in June 2019

Popular destinations in July were:

  • Central & Eastern Europe: Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Kaunas, Krakow, Wroclaw, Vienna,
  • Central & Eastern Europe: Warsaw, Poznan, Gdansk, Kaunas, Krakow, Wroclaw, Vienna, Prague, Budapest & Bratislava
  • Spain: Alicante, Palma, Tenerife, Madrid, Almeria, Malaga, Seville & Barcelona
  • City destinations: Helsinki, Geneva, Venice, Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, Berlin & Basel
  • Turkey: Istanbul, Bodrum & Dalaman

New routes for 2019 (18 routes: 16 international and 2 domestic):

Mar 2019:

Loganair to Islay

Apr 2019:

American Airlines to Philadelphia

Ryanair to Billund & Luxembourg

May 2019:

Delta Airlines to Boston

Jet 2 to Bodrum, Bourgas and Corfu

Loganair to Bergen, Stavanger & Guernsey

June 2019:

Alitalia to Milan (both Linate and Malpensa)

Great Dane Airlines to Aalborg

October 2019:

Lauda to Vienna

December 2019:

Wizz Air to Bucharest, Budapest, Warsaw Chopin & Gdansk

May 2020:

Jet2 to Izmir


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