Sumburgh tops growth table for HIAL airports

Passenger numbers at Sumburgh Airport were up by more than half in October compared with the same month last year.

The figures, released by Highlands and Islands Airports (HIALL), which operates Sumburgh Airport, reflect a huge increase in oil traffic and have helped add 10 per cent to Scottish regional airport figures.

The number of passengers at Sumburgh rose 52.3 per cent, or 9,464 to 27553. A spokesman for HIAL – which operates 11 airports across Scotland – said it was “the result of an increased oil sector.”

It was also another strong month for Kirkwall, where passenger numbers grew by 1,545 to 16,104, up 10.6 per cent, as a result of higher demand for routes to and from the mainland and additional oil business.

Growth was more modest at Wick John O’ Groats, with numbers up by 842 to 3138, but this was a rise of 36.7 per cent.

Inverness recorded an extra 2,968 passengers to 58,256, or 5.4 per cent, following growth on the Amsterdam, Bristol, Birmingham, Gatwick and Manchester routes.

Latest figures show that HIAL operated airports recorded 127,137 passengers in October, an increase of 12,124, or 10.5 per cent, on October 2012.

Elsewhere, Campbeltown, Benbecula and Islay also reported an increase in passenger numbers. However, numbers were down at Barra, Stornoway, Tiree and Dundee airports.

Managing Director of HIAL Inglis Lyon said: “Across the group, we have added more than 60,000 passengers this financial year, much of it energy related but a significant proportion as a result of increased demand for scheduled routes, particularly at Inverness. With the number of visitors to Scotland up in the first half of this year, and a host of activities in 2014 set to place Scotland on the stage as a world class destination, we are confident that we can continue to attract more passengers through our airports.”

In 2012/13, the HIAL group recorded 1,297,676 passengers.


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