The number of passengers using Sumburgh Airport increased by 7,304 in January over the previous month, according to figures released this week.
Site operators Highlands & Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL) announced that Sumburgh had remained one of its fastest growing airports last month, citing increasing aircraft movement and use by the energy industry as reasons behind such an escalation of passengers flying to Shetland.
In total, Sumburgh handled 17,860 passengers, up 69.2 per cent when compared with January 2012. Sumburgh experienced a total growth of 18 per cent over the last year, contributing substantially to the combined rise of three per cent throughout all 11 of the HIAL-operated airports.
It is thought that an increasing demand for services to Sumburgh over previous years is also having a knock-on effect for other HIAL airports, such as Kirkwall, which witnessed an increase in passenger numbers of 1,498 compared to this time last year.
HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon said: “These figures represent a good start to 2013, not least in our most northerly airports where increased energy activity is fuelling a significant increase in business traffic and helicopter movements.
“Elsewhere in the group, growth was more modest, partly a reflection of winter schedule changes. Nevertheless, the overall trend shows that growth is continuing, which is obviously encouraging given the still fragile nature of the economy.”