Passenger numbers rise at airports

Scotland's busiest airports got even busier last month, with both Glasgow and Edinburgh reporting a 4.9% rise in passenger numbers.

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Edinburgh Airport said the annual Easter getaway helped see 842,372 people pass through the hub in April, with domestic traveller numbers up 5.5% and international travellers rising by 4.5% compared to the same month last year.

The Easter school holidays are a popular travel time and fell earlier this year, boosting figures.

Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said Virgin Atlantic's Little Red service to London Heathrow recorded a strong performance and new easyJet services to Bodrum and Crete proved popular with sun seekers.

He said: "Easter is always a busy time as it marks the start of the summer season.

"May is going to be an extremely busy and exciting month with four major new route launches taking place over the coming weeks. First to launch is Edelweiss with a fantastic new service to Zurich.

"It's then time for the highly-anticipated launch of United Airlines' new service to Chicago, US Airways' new direct route to Philadelphia and Qatar Airways launching Edinburgh's first direct link to the Middle East."

Almost 9.8 million passengers used Edinburgh Airport in 2013, its busiest ever year.

Glasgow Airport also recorded growth of 4.9% last month, with passenger numbers rising to more than 576,300. Domestic and international traffic increased 2.4% and 7.9% respectively.

The beginning of the summer season saw many airlines return, including Air Malta.

Managing director Amanda McMillan said: "We enjoyed a busy Easter period and celebrated the launch of a number of new routes including easyJet's flights to Kos and the decision by Citywing to reinstate a direct service to the Isle of Man.

"We are continuing to benefit from the city's success in securing large scale events such as BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, which will take place later this month.

"Glasgow will also host a number of major conferences during May which play an important role in attracting inbound business tourism."

Glasgow, Scotland's largest charter hub, is currently undergoing a £17 million refurbishment which will see the international arrivals area extended, new seating at the front of the building and improvements to the road network and airfield.

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