Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scotland's Air Travel Market is in Trouble

The Scottish air travel market is going through lean times. Today's figures from the BAA show that Glasgow and Edinburgh's combined passenger numbers were down 2.3% for the month of July. For the year to date the total number of passengers using the two airports is down by 1.4%. It's quite likely by the year end that they will be down by around 2% on 2007 and even showing a decline on 2006. Things are much worse at Glasgow, but Edinburgh seems to be slipping into decline as well.

This tells you two things; VisitScotland are not cutting the mustard and all the euphoric talk about a rapidly expanding scottish travel market, that was being mentioned within the last year, is tosh. Edinburgh is going to fail to even reach it's lower passenger forecasts for the year 2013 - none of which is good news for the economy. The decline in July is not restricted to Scotland's airports. London's airports are 1.6% down, whereas Scotland's three BAA airports (the third is Aberdeen) are down by 2.3%.

4 comments:

Ken Dyer said...

Richard, I guess these are July’s figures? I believe it was reported that the 3 airports did actually get an increase in international traffic in July of some 1.3%, which just serves to emphasise the decline in domestic traffic (4.9% down for these airports). Again this supports BA’s move to cut domestic flights later in the year.

I cannot imagine that many travel markets are rapidly expanding in Europe. Those that are remaining level are doing well in my book! Having said that following a brief look at the Visit Scotland’s website, which appears somewhat of a “work in progress”, it’s a wonder Scotland gets as many visitors as it does!

Richard Havers said...

Ken you're absolutely right they are July, thanks for spotting it! Given the vast increase in international services the 1.3% increase is none too exciting. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow's traffic numbers were down individually. The fact is the BAA have long been forecasting vastly inflated passenger numbers at Edinburgh to support their expansion plans....still they've probably got something a bit more important to worry about this morning.

CityUnslicker said...

I don't see how splitting the airport ownership will empower visit scotland...

Richard Havers said...

Slicker, me neither. My point was that air travel to and from Scotland is not doing very well and part of the reason is that VisitScotland are useless.