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Come what May

Posted: 21st June 2019

Busiest May on record ahead of summer schedule.

A total of 1,381,187 passengers travelled through Edinburgh Airport last month making it the busiest May on record.

Numbers were 4.3% up on the same month last year with new route growth over the past year and increased capacity on existing routes aiding the rise.

May 2019 % vs May 2018
Domestic 496,399 +3.8%
International 884,788 +4.6%
Total 1,381,187 +4.3%
MAT Total 14,738,065 +7.7%


Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Airport said:

“Growth is always good as it shows a thirst for travel to and from Scotland, be that for leisure or business purposes, and our increased connectivity allows us to offer that choice to passengers. And as we come into the summer season, we hope the breadth of destination and trip that is available at Edinburgh brings even more people through our doors.

“We do, however, remain cautious as airlines plan their winter and summer schedules for next year and look at new and existing routes as well as capacity on those routes. We strive to keep Edinburgh as attractive as possible and hope to maintain steady numbers despite other contributing factors.”


Domestic market was ahead +3.8% vs May 2018 due to the following reasons:

  • More Flybe flights to London Heathrow compared to last May
  • Ryanair launched a new route to Derry (Oct 18)
  • Loganair started new routes to Guernsey (May 19) and Islay (Mar 19)

International market recorded a +4.6% YoY growth due new route growth as well as increased frequencies on existing routes. These are the reasons for the strong 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
    • Added more flights to Warsaw & Nantes compared to last May
  • Jet2
    • Started 3 new routes this May (Corfu, Bodrum & Bourgas)
    • operated more flights to Antalya, Dalaman, Malaga, Alicante, Rhodes, Reus, Canary Islands, Heraklion, Majorca & Menorca compared to last May
  • Lufthansa started a new route to Munich in December 2018
  • Aegean started season earlier (April) than last year (June)
  • Loganair started new routes to Bergen & Stavanger this May
  • Emirates launched a new daily service to Dubai in October 2018
  • Hainan Airlines launched a new service to Beijing in June 2018
  • Qatar used a larger aircraft (Airbus A350) since July 2018 (route was previously served on the B787-8 Dreamliner)
  • Delta increased from 5x weekly to daily service to JFK & launched a new route to Boston this May

Popular destinations in March were:

  • Poland & the Baltics: Kaunas, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Krakow, Poznan, Gdansk, Katowice & Riga
  • City destinations: Sofia, Budapest, Bratislava, Stuttgart, Rome & Lisbon
  • Spain: Madrid, Malaga, Alicante, Palma, Tenerife & Sevilla

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Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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