Island airports deliver passenger growth for HIAL
18th July 2014
Passenger numbers at HIAL's regional airports grew by almost 8000 during the last quarter, with the group's island airports driving growth.
Latest figures for the last quarter (April - June) show that passenger numbers at HIAL’s 11 airports grew by 7806, an increase of 2.2% on the same quarter last year.
All of HIAL’s island airports recorded growth, with Sumburgh recording an extra 9634 passengers (+13.9%), due to higher demand for scheduled services and continued growth in the energy sector, and Stornoway handling an additional 2049 passengers (+6.3%) as demand for services to the mainland increased. Barra was the fastest growing airport in the group, with a 22.1% increase in passenger numbers, representing an additional 569 passengers. Benbecula attracted an additional 717 passengers (+9.1%), while Kirkwall handled an extra 1047 passengers during the quarter (+2.2%). At Islay, passenger numbers grew by 2.9%, representing an additional 234 passengers.
An additional 1034 passengers used Inverness Airport during the period (+0.6%) as demand increased on the Amsterdam, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, the Western Isles and Northern Isles routes.
Passenger numbers at Wick John O’Groats fell during the quarter by 39.3% compared to last year, which was an exceptionally busy year as a result of a major but short term helicopter contract. A new contract has recently been agreed and should result in further growth.
At Dundee, a new Public Service Obligation service to London Stansted was launched at the end of March and, as with any new service, the initial uptake has been slow. As a result, passenger numbers at Dundee fell by 27.6%. Passenger numbers were also down slightly at Campbeltown.
Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of HIAL, said: "It is very encouraging to see our smaller island airports driving growth across the group. The increased demand for island services is particularly good news for those local communities and underlines the role our airports play supporting the economic growth of these areas.
"The energy sector continues to drive growth at Sumburgh, where HIAL is investing in improved facilities, and the launch of a tender process to build two new aircraft to serve Barra, Campbeltown and Tiree is further good news for the long term future of air routes for these communities.
“Growth at Inverness was relatively modest during the quarter, but with increased capacity planned on existing Birmingham and Manchester services, both of which are proving increasingly popular as long haul connecting hubs, and new services to London City and Dublin due to begin in October, we are confident that demand at Inverness will grow."
Flybe's franchise partner Eastern Airways has flights to Wick from Aberdeen and would have been in danger if the company had gone bust. Flybe has agreed £110m rescue deal.
The Air Discount Scheme (ADS) which provides cheaper air travel for islands and north Highland residents has been extended. The scheme month has been renewed until 31 December 2020.
Prospect air traffic controllers in the Highlands and Islands to strike on 26th April 2019 over pay. Prospect air traffic controllers working for Highlands and Islands Airport Limited will be taking strike action on the 26th of April in relation to their 2018-19 pay offer.
Prospect has confirmed arrangements for balloting air traffic controllers at Highlands and Islands Airports Limited on industrial action. The ballot will open on 11 February and close on 1 March.
Regional airport operator HIAL has handled more passengers than ever, according to latest figures for the last financial year. The airport group, which operates 11 airports across Scotland, handled 1,437,625 passengers in 2015/16, up by more than 6000 on the previous year.
Airport operator HIAL's strong run of growth in 2015 continued in the last quarter according to latest figures. In the third quarter (July to September), the group recorded an extra 12,522 passengers (up 3.1%) compared to the same period in 2014.
Island airports soar but overall numbers dip slightly at HIAL. Passenger numbers at HIAL's regional airport fell slightly in the third quarter of the year, though a number of island airports reported soaring growth.
Passenger numbers at regional airport operator HIAL climbed to their highest ever level in the latest financial year, as the group stepped up its investment for the future. The company's annual report and accounts for the year 2013/14 show that almost 70,000 extra passengers used the group's 11 airports during the year.
* Energy sector drives huge growth at Sumburgh and Wick John O’Groats * Extra 70,000 passengers across the group * Sumburgh is Scotland’s fastest growing airport * Inverness enjoys best performance for five years * But smaller airports affected by reduced capacity Scottish regional airport operator HIAL has recorded its busiest ever year, attracting an extra 70,000 passengers over the past 12 months, according to latest figures. HIAL’s 11 airports handled 1,367,342 passengers in the 2013/14 financial year, an increase of 5.4% on the previous year (an additional 69,666 passengers).
Increased demand for business and tourism flights saw passenger numbers grow by more than 5,100 at HIAL’s regional airports last month. Latest figures show the number of passengers using the airports in February increased by 5.9% to 92,607, compared to February 2013.
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