EDINBURGH Airport has declared it recorded the busiest ever November for a Scottish airport as it reaped the benefits of attracting new airlines and routes.

But while Glasgow Airport was also upbeat after recording its best ever November, Aberdeen International Airport reported a further fall in passenger numbers as the oil and gas downturn continued to hit business.

Edinburgh, which reiterated its call for air passenger duty (APD) to be scrapped, said 860,966 passengers passed through its gates in November, up 8.3 per cent on the same month last year.

It pointed to a 20 per cent hike in international passengers to 431,174 as a key driver of growth during the month, which it said was down to the addition of a host of new routes the airport has added since November 2015.

These include the introduction by Jet2 of 11 new routes from the airport, including Kefalonia, Rhodes, Larnaca, Zakynthos and Vienna, and the launch by Aer Lingus of a new service to Shannon.

While the collapse in the value of sterling may have encouraged more travellers to visit Scotland since the Brexit vote, Edinburgh highlighted the city’s continuing attraction as a tourist destination, and the success of its team in attracting more airlines and routes, as the primary drivers of the passenger number growth.

Edinburgh, Scotland’s biggest airport, also noted the benefits brought by having a higher percentage of inbound that outbound passenger numbers, stating that only airports in London have proportionally more in-bound passengers than Edinburgh.

However, although overall passenger numbers leapt by nearly one-fifth in November, domestic numbers fell by one per cent to 429,792.

Edinburgh chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “November’s passenger figures are worth celebrating.

“In what is traditionally one of the quiet months in aviation we have witnessed a 20 per cent increase in passengers on international flights.”

Mr Dewar said Edinburgh welcomed the recent encouragement by the Scottish Government of a Conservative Party proposal to scrap APD for flights of 2,000 miles or more, but said the airport would like to see SNP ministers to go further and scrap the tax for European routes too.

Glasgow Airport experienced its ever busiest November with passenger numbers rising by 7.7 per cent to 666,338.

It said the demand for winter sun destinations, in particular services operated by airlines such as Ryanair and Jet2, drove a 14.9 per cent rise in international passengers to 307,989.

The airport, which wants APD to be scrapped for domestic and European as well as long-haul flights, added that November had also see a 25 per cent rise in passengers on EU scheduled services, as well as a significant rise in traffic on long-haul routes operated by Emirates and Virgin.

On the home front, Glasgow cited demand from football fans as domestic traffic rose by 2.2 per cent to 358,349.

Demand from the Tartan Army for flights to London for Scotland’s World Cup qualifier against England, as well as from Celtic fans travelling to Barcelona for the Champions League, were highlighted by the airport.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said: “November was yet another record-breaking month and it has put us on course to close out what has been an extraordinary year for Glasgow Airport by carrying more than nine million passengers for the first time in our history.”

Aberdeen International Airport cited the continuing downturn in the oil and gas sector as passenger numbers fell by 4.1 per to 237,893 last month, compared with November last year. International and domestic traffic were down 6.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent, with helicopter traffic down 8.5 per cent.

However managing director Carol Benzie said November’s fall had been “the smallest drop we’ve experienced in many months”.