Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Friday, 10 July 2009 16:55 UK

Edinburgh Airport's fortunes soar

Edinburgh airport
Edinburgh now handles 10 times the cargo tonnage of Glasgow

Glasgow and Aberdeen airports have seen sharp falls in passenger numbers but Edinburgh has bucked the downturn.

The three Scottish airports owned by BAA saw a fall in passenger traffic to 1.88 million last month, down 5.4% on June 2008.

Edinburgh was the only one of the company's airports to register a rise, up 1.4% over the year to 871,000.

Glasgow's figures were down 10.9% to 737,000, and Aberdeen fell 9.8% to 272,000.

Heathrow, the dominant London airport in the BAA group, was down 3.1% compared with June last year, with Stansted, the budget airline hub, down 11.5%. The UK total for BAA's passenger numbers was down 5.9%.

A spokesman for BAA Scotland said: "Edinburgh Airport's impressive performance underlines the robust nature of the Edinburgh economy and its enduring popularity as a business and leisure destination.

"Overall traffic across the three airports was down, but the drop was less acute than during the previous three months. Both domestic and international traffic are down on last year, reflecting the continuing impact of the economic downturn.

"However, Edinburgh's recent performance gives us confidence that there is still strong demand for air travel, and we aim to build on this foundation in the months ahead."

Cargo decline

Cargo traffic movements continued to decline, according to BAA, though the pace of fall was slowing. The year-on-year decline was 22% in April, but the fall was only at 6.3% in June.

There were markedly different figures for cargo tonnage through the Scottish airports.

Comparing the first half of this year with the first half of 2008, Edinburgh's cargo tonnage more than doubled, while Glasgow's fell by 41%.

Edinburgh now handles more than 10 times the tonnage of Glasgow Airport.

BAA has been told by the Competition Commission that it should sell Gatwick and one of its two Scottish central belt airports.

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