Record year for regional airport operator
27th April 2016
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. Inverness Airport, the busiest in the group, added more than 13,000 passengers during the year. Smaller island airports such as Tiree and Barra - this year celebrating its 80th anniversary - enjoyed strong growth, with passenger numbers up 12% and 10.7% respectively. Dundee, where Flybe is about to launch a new Amsterdam service, also performed well.
Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of HIAL, said: "This has been a good year for HIAL's airports. Despite the downturn in the energy sector, a key market for HIAL, passenger numbers increased during the year.
“Our smaller island airports performed extremely well, as did Inverness and Dundee, both of which will see expansion in the coming months as a result of new routes.
“We have worked hard to improve connectivity across our group, with new aircraft serving the communities of Barra, Tiree and Campbeltown and new air services due to launch at Inverness and Dundee. As a result of our strengthening route network, regional Scotland is now better connected than ever before."
Meanwhile, figures for the first quarter of 2016 show a drop in passenger numbers across the group, a result of the downturn in energy sector traffic at Wick John O’Groats and Sumburgh airports, and the loss of Flybe’s Inverness to London City service, which operated in the first quarter of 2015 but was then discontinued. However, the new financial year is expected to be one of the busiest in Inverness Airport’s history as easyJet expands and British Airways and KLM launch new flights to Heathrow and Amsterdam respectively. Holiday airlines Thomson and First Choice have also confirmed new summer flights to Majorca in 2017.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.
Wick John O'Groats Airport is well placed to capture a greater share of the energy market, says Airport Station Manager William Sutherland. His remarks followed a visit by Alan Simpson, Integrated Planning and Turnaround Manager at Chevron, to mark the end of the company's year-long presence at the airport.
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