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European routes boost growth at Glasgow Airport

GLASGOW Airport reaped the rewards of moves by Thomson, Lufthansa, and KLM to add capacity on European routes with solid year-on-year growth in passenger numbers in May, the latest figures have revealed.

The airport said yesterday that it had handled 693,126 passengers last month, up 4.3 per cent on May 2013. This rise was fuelled by a 6.9 per cent year-on-year increase in international passenger numbers in May, to 364,280. Domestic passenger numbers last month, at 328,846, were up 1.6 per cent on May 2013 amid solid demand for London flights .

The percentage year-on-year rise in passenger numbers at Glasgow in May was sharper than that reported by rival Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday. Overall passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport in May were up by 3.5 per cent on the same month of 2013, at 937,093, with this increase again driven in large part by international traffic.

Detailing the reasons for its year-on-year growth in passenger numbers in May, Glasgow Airport said: "Growth was driven primarily by Thomson, Lufthansa and KLM adding capacity on European routes, while Jet2's fifth [Glasgow] based aircraft also began operating during the month.

"Virgin Atlantic and US Airways added capacity on their North American routes, while demand for flights to London continues to drive domestic growth."

Glasgow Airport, part of the Heathrow Airport Holdings operation known formerly as BAA, noted US Airways had celebrated the 10th anniversary of its service to Philadelphia in May, while Thomas Cook had announced a new weekly Las Vegas flight for summer 2015 and Icelandair had added extra capacity in September to cater for a rise in demand related to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: "May always gives us a taste of what to expect during our busiest months, with the summer timetable well under way and a real buzz in the terminal."

She added: "With less than 50 days to go until the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, our focus now is to ensure that our multi-million-pound investment programme is completed in time. The check-in hall is looking fantastic and the improvements we are making to the international arrivals area are well under way."

Aberdeen International Airport, also part of Heathrow Airport Holdings, said yesterday that its passenger numbers last month had totalled 327,469, up 6.7 per cent on May 2013.

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