EDINBURGH Airport has reported a rare fall in passenger numbers in a reverse it said reflected the impact of Ryanair ending flights between the city and Stansted.

Total passengers numbers in October fell to 1,309,170, down one per cent on the same month in 2018.

The fall was only the second recorded in a period of growth that has lasted five years. The so-called Beast from the East was accompanied by a 0.1% drop in passenger numbers in March 2018.

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The airport said a 6% year-on-year fall in domestic passenger numbers last month, to 458,686, was driven by Ryanair’s decision to cut the Stansted route from October.

International passenger numbers rose 2% annually, to 850,484, amid strong growth in the short-haul segment.

Airlines have lunched routes linking Edinburgh with European cities including Vienna and Berlin and holiday destinations such as Corfu.

Edinburgh airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said the fall in total numbers was unfortunate after almost 60 months of continuous growth.

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In an apparent reference to the Scottish Government’s decision to scrap plans to cut the Air Departure Tax levy on flights, he noted: “The arguments around ADT are well known and we cannot hide the fact that we now have yet another obstacle to work around to deliver the growth that has become expected.”

Mr Dewar added: “Connectivity is important to Scotland and our initial talks with the Scottish Government about bringing the world closer to Scotland have been positive.”