Edinburgh airport has cited Ryanair’s decision to axe its Stansted route for its first fall in monthly passengers numbers for nearly five years.
Passenger numbers fell 1% year-on-year at Edinburgh in October to 1.31 million, which chief executive Gordon Dewar said ended “almost 60 months continues growth”.
The exception came in March 2018 when passengers numbers fell 0.1% owing to the severe weather from the so-called Beast from the East.
Edinburgh said the subsequent fall in domestic passengers after Ryanair cut its Stansted route had a big influence" on overall numbers.
“The route was reduced to four weekly from four daily in June 2019 before ending completely last month,” said the airport in a statement.
Domestic passenger numbers fell 6.1% in October to 458,686. However, Edinburgh’s overall performance during October was bolstered by 2% growth in international passengers to 850,484.
“We’ve had almost 60 months of continuous growth and it’s unfortunate we’ve seen this temporary fall in passenger numbers – something we earlier this year predicted would happen,” said Dewar.
“It shows us growth is not guaranteed and is only possible with hard work and a collaborative approach.
“The arguments around ADT [Air Departure Tax] are well known and we cannot hide the fact we now have yet another obstacle to work around to deliver that growth that has become expected. Connectivity is important to Scotland and our initial talks with the Scottish government about bringing the world closer to Scotland have been positive.
“As an airport, we play our part in tourism, business, education, research and culture, so ensuring a sustainable future for the industry is very important. We need to work together to deliver that.”