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Capital's airport enjoys busiest day ever

03 July 2009

Edinburgh bucks the trend as passenger numbers hit record high

Edinburgh Airport enjoyed the busiest day in its 30 year history last week, bucking a trend that has seen passenger numbers at most UK airports decline.

As the airport prepares for a massive influx of holidaymakers this weekend, new figures show that Scotland's biggest airport enjoyed its busiest day ever last Friday (26 June) with 35,899 passengers.

The previous record of 35,782 passengers was set on 29th June 2007.

And despite the influx of passengers, security teams ensured holidaymakers enjoyed a flying start to their summer break, with 93% of outgoing passengers clearing security in less than 5 minutes, and no security lines longer than 10 minutes.

Managing Director Gordon Dewar said: "This is a fantastic achievement for Edinburgh Airport, particularly given the current economic climate. It shows that there is still a strong demand for air travel to and from the capital. We're particularly pleased that despite enjoying our busiest day ever, our customer service and security teams delivered a high quality service for our passengers."

With more than 20 new international services introduced this year, Edinburgh Airport is one of the few UK airports bucking the recession, with passenger numbers up in April and May. June's passengers figures are due to be released shortly.

A £40 million terminal extension is currently underway at Edinburgh Airport, with the first phase due to open to passengers in November. The 5000 square metre development will include a major expansion of the airport's departure lounge, offering more space for passengers to relax, and a wider choice of shops, bars and restaurants. A new security search area, with capacity for 14 x-ray machines, will also feature in the project.

Mr Dewar added: "Edinburgh Airport is now better connected than at any time in its 30 year history. This is not only good news for Scottish holidaymakers, who can now reach more destinations from Edinburgh than ever before, but also for the capital's tourist industry. These latest figures show that the city's reputation as a world class business and leisure destination is continuing to attract visitors to our city."

Edinburgh Airport is gearing up for another busy weekend as schools across the city break for the summer holiday today. Around 125,000 passengers are expected over the next four days with today (Friday 3 July) the busiest, with 35,500 passengers forecast.

Ron Hewitt, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce said: "This is a fantastic endorsement of what we have always said: that Edinburgh as Scotland's capital and as its premier tourism gateway has strength in depth and that our sunrise sectors are growing fast and will continue to make Edinburgh the place to invest. Meanwhile our traditional strengths will recover and continue to contribute. BAA play no small part in driving our recovery and here is early proof."

Notes to the Editor

125,600 passengers are expected between Friday 3 July and Monday 6 July (two way traffic). Top destinations include Paris, Amsterdam, Palma, Dublin and New York.