Airport marks ‘significant improvement’ after pandemic shortfall

A total of 931,522 passengers made their way through Edinburgh airport during April 2022.

Edinburgh airport marks ‘significant improvement’ over Easter period after pandemic shortfall iStock
Airport: Almost one million travellers passed through Edinburgh airport last month.

Almost one million travellers passed through Edinburgh airport in April, marking the terminal’s busiest period in three years.

The airport saw just 5445 travellers come through the doors in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which increased to 32,628 in 2021 as travel rules were relaxed.

Figures showed the number of passengers travelling through the terminal in 2020 and 2021 fell drastically, from nearly 15 million to three million.

The airport had previously warned about the potential for long queues due to the surge in demand and staffing shortages.

Thousands lost their livelihoods at Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh’s airports during the pandemic, with 2000 jobs lost at Edinburgh alone.

The airport now says despite staff shortages, 97.1% of passengers passed through security in under 15 minutes last month.

Chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, Gordon Dewar, said: “It was, of course, a challenging few weeks and we are quite happy with the way the airport operation performed as it saw its busiest period in almost three years.

“As ever, there are lessons we can learn and improvements we can make as we head into the even busier summer season. We would like to remind passengers that we will face some challenges and again ask them to continue to work with us by planning ahead and ensuring they know what they need to do before they get here, and we will continue to do everything we can to get them through the airport quickly and comfortably.”

The UK Government has been urged to work on a recovery plan for British airports, after aviation leaders said complete passenger number recovery could take until 2025 in a March report to the Scottish Affairs Committee.

The Scottish Affairs Committee was told that as Scottish airports were “more adversely affected by the pandemic than other airports in the UK”, the imminent strategic recovery framework should “specifically consider policy interventions to help Scottish airports recover”.

At its lowest point, Edinburgh airport experienced under 1% of pre-pandemic demand, with bosses warning a return to normal international travel was not likely until 2025/2026.