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New routes help passenger figures take off at airport

EDINBURGH Airport has reported a solid year-on-year rise in international passenger traffic for May, aided by a raft of new short and long-haul routes.

The airport, which describes itself as Scotland's busiest, said yesterday that 517,543 international passengers had travelled through its doors in May, up by 5.7 per cent on the same month last year. Domestic passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport in May were up only 0.9 per cent on the same month in 2013, at 419,550.

Edinburgh Airport's overall passenger numbers last month were up 3.5 per cent on May 2013 at 937,093.

The airport, which is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners, said that the "strong" year-on-year rise in international passenger traffic in May had resulted largely from the launch of a number of long and short-haul routes this spring.

It cited budget carrier easyJet's new services, launched in the spring, from Edinburgh to Bodrum in Turkey and to Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete. The airport also cited Jet2's commencement last month of flights between Edinburgh and Verona in Italy, and Swiss carrier Edelweiss's new flight to Zurich.

Edinburgh Airport also highlighted the launch last month by United Airlines of long-haul flights from Edinburgh to Chicago and by US Airways of a new service to Philadelphia, as well as the commencement by Qatar Airways of its new Doha route on May 28.

Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said of the new Doha route: "We worked hard with our city partners to deliver Edinburgh's first Middle Eastern route and we're looking forward to a successful partnership with Qatar Airways, who are operating Scotland's first scheduled Dreamliner."

In April, Emirates celebrated a decade of carrying passengers from Glasgow Airport to Dubai and beyond.

Glasgow Airport is due to report its passenger figures for May today.

Mr Dewar was upbeat about the outlook for passenger numbers at Edinburgh Airport over the summer.

He said: "With the school summer holidays just around the corner, coupled with the Ryder Cup and Edinburgh Festival, we're looking forward to welcoming many thousands of passengers through our airport over coming weeks."

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