EASYJET provided further evidence today that UK consumers’ appetite for travel remains undimmed despite the ongoing cost of living crisis, and its strong financial health is proving to be good news for Scotland’s major airports.

On the day the airline said a record summer had helped it report annual profits of £455 million for the year ended September 30, which followed a loss of £178m in 2022, the Luton-based carrier announced the expansion of its presence at Glasgow Airport.

The addition of a sixth aircraft at its Glasgow base is good news both from a local employment perspective and in terms of delivering more choice for people who use the airport.

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Not only will it result in the creation of around 40 jobs at the base, taking its total headcount to nearly 300 when pilots, cabin crew, and base management are tallied up, but the deployment of a further aircraft also raises the prospect of more routes being served by the operation.

Scotland is clearly proving to be fertile ground for the airline, with today’s announcement of expansion in Glasgow following the addition of new routes from the airport already this year and simultaneous expansion in Edinburgh.

Further routes from Scotland’s two biggest airports are also in the offing for 2024, when easyJet will begin flying from Edinburgh and Glasgow to locations such as Hurghada (Egypt), Rome Fiumicino, Rovaniemi (Lapland), Bordeaux, Larnaca (Cyprus), and Enfidha (Tunisia).

Following the dark days of the pandemic, when air travel ground virtually to a halt, and the difficulties caused by staff shortages when the industry reopened, it is hugely encouraging to see the aviation industry rebound so strongly, given its importance to the Scottish economy.

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Of course, the addition of new routes does bring challenges, most notably when it comes to airports’ ability to handle the extra passenger traffic this inevitably brings. But that is surely a more welcome dilemma than the alternative that was all too painfully evident during the depths of the pandemic.