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Passenger Numbers In Highland - July 2005
Record Month for Inverness Airport
Inverness Airport recorded its busiest ever month in July with more than 70,000 passengers travelling through the air hub for the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, according to passenger figures published today.
The airport’s 70,102 passengers represented an 18% increase on July 2004 and a 52% increase on July 2003’s figures. The airport is on target to handle around 700,000 passengers in the year ending 31 March 2006, compared to 565,000 passengers in 2004/05, which will be 95% more passengers than it handled annually at the start of the decade.
A total of 117,960 passengers used the 10 airports operated by Highlands and Islands Airports during July, a 16% increase on the previous year. The airports at Benbecula, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Wick all showed year on year growth. Disruptions to scheduled air services caused by poor weather during July saw small drops in passengers at Barra, Campbeltown, Islay and Tiree.
The growth at Inverness was supported by new daily services between the airport and Belfast and Bristol, introduced by easyJet at the beginning of July, and a busy programme of holiday charter flights.
Sumburgh recorded a 40% increase in traffic as a result of scheduled and charter traffic for the 2005 NatWest Island Games XI which attracted competitors and supporters to Shetland from around the world in July.
Since 1 April 2005 to the end of July a total of 386,626 passengers have used HIAL’s 10 airports which represents a 5% increase on the same four months in 2004/05.
Inglis Lyon, HIAL’s managing director said: “The growth we are achieving is in line with our forecasts and reflects the vital economic and social role of aviation in the region for business, leisure and social welfare travel.
“The passenger growth at Inverness is a fantastic opportunity for the region and it is very important that the private and public sectors seize the opportunities for inbound tourism and gain the most from new business links. The airport already supports around 2,300 jobs in the region and provides an annual economic output of £120 million. Its long term development will ensure that these outputs grow alongside initiatives like the airport business park and the development of the A96 corridor. Businesses, public bodies and communities must ensure they make the most of these assets, including the region’s largest airport.
“With the support of the airlines, we have achieved year on year passenger growth across the network since 2000 and we will continue to focus on the commercial development of our business to ensure this trend is maintained and, where possible, accelerated.
“We aim to achieve this through route development and to work with airlines to deliver enhancements to the frequency, capacity and range of fares available on existing services. We are committed to this strategy for the long term which will ensure that the airports fulfil their central role in supporting the socio-economic wellbeing of the region in the years ahead,” said Mr Lyon.
Highlands and Islands Airports Limited – Total Passenger Movements July 2005
For further information see the www.hial.co.uk website.