Strong start to 2015 for Highlands and Islands flights

Latest figures show that between January and March this year, HIAL’s 11 airports handled 314,136 passengers, an increase of 8.7% on the same point last year.

Benbecula, Stornoway and Islay recorded increased passenger numbers.

However, the biggest upsurge, in numerical terms, was recorded at Inverness where a new service to Dublin, the return of winter flights to Geneva and increased capacity on the Manchester route, saw the airport gain more than 29,000 passengers.

A new service from Zurich, increased capacity on the Gatwick route and strong inbound demand from the US via Dublin puts the airport on course to record its busiest ever summer this year.

Numbers were down at Barra, Campbeltown, Kirkwall and Tiree, partly due to weather related cancellations at the start of the year.

Over the past 12 months, HIAL has handled an additional 64,110 passengers, representing a growth rate of 4.7%.