HIAL airports report strong start to summer season

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Scotland’s regional airport operator HIAL enjoyed a strong start to the summer season with passenger numbers up by more than 6,200 on last April.

Figures released by HIAL, which operates 11 airports across Scotland, show that overall passenger numbers in April – which marks the start of the summer flying season – rose by 6.4% to 104,519, up from 98,262 in April 2011.

At Inverness, the busiest airport in the group, passenger numbers increased by 11% to 52,213, boosted by the continuing success of flybe’s daily Amsterdam service – which last month carried its 10,000th passenger – and strong growth in the domestic market, particularly on the Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol and London Gatwick routes.

Sumburgh recorded another strong performance, with passenger numbers up 15.3% to 15,185, due to increased oil sector traffic, and growing demand for scheduled flights. Passenger numbers were also up at Stornoway (+4.7%) due to offshore military training exercises, and at Wick (+9.1%) due to growing oil sector traffic. Traffic also grew at Islay (+7.1%) and at Barra (+15.7%).

Passenger demand fell at Kirkwall, down 7.9%, and at Dundee, down 14.7%. Benbecula, Campeltown and Tiree also recorded a small drop in traffic.