THE NUMBER of passengers using Sumburgh airport has increased by 5.2 per cent in the last six months on the same period last year to 90,791, according to new figures from Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL).
That compares with an increase of two per cent overall at the 10 airports operated by HIAL to 711,905. Total aircraft movements for the airports in the same period increased by 3.8 per cent to 58,191.
HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said performance for the summer had been good despite unprecedented difficulties in the aviation industry and wider economy.
Recent developments also indicate a positive trend for the airports in 2009 with Loganair due to increase its Sumburgh-Bergen flights and introduce a Kirkwall-Bergen service.
“In overall terms performance to the end of September has been good with year on year growth of two per cent in total passenger numbers for our 10 airports in the Highlands and Islands,” said Mr Lyon.
“Within this context, however, we recognise that the current aviation climate is very difficult due to a combination of fuel prices impacting on airlines’ operations and wider economic factors creating uncertainty in demand for travel. Our airports are not immune from these industry-wide factors.”