Edinburgh Airport has warned travellers looking to go abroad over the peak summer period to expect queues and disruption as it returns to full service for the first time in more than two years.
Over the last two years, the airport has been brought to a virtual standstill during the height the pandemic when Covid restrictions were their most strict.
Airport figures show the number of passengers travelling through the premises in 2020 and 2021 fell dramatically, from nearly 15 million to three million.
Chief executive of Edinburgh Airport Gordon Dewar said while passengers returning is welcomed by the team, the busier months ahead will not be without their challenges.
He said the main reason for delays in the summer will be due to staff numbers not reaching pre-pandemic levels in time.
The airport has predicted numbers will more than treble in one year and that surge in growth and the tough recruitment markets has prompted the early warning.
“We lost many valued colleagues and our recruitment campaign to employ 1,000 people across the airport has been underway since the end of 2021,” he said.
“Not all of those additional people will be in place as quickly as we would like and therefore it is inevitable there will be some queues and disruption as the recovery begins and we take the first steps to normality.
“As we do that, we are grateful to passengers for their patience and understanding and ask that they allow themselves to carefully plan and understand what they need to do before they get here.
“We all want to put on as good a service as we can and will be working hard to do that, drafting in people from across the airport to support passengers and ensuring people have everything they need to get through the airport quickly and comfortably.”
He said other contributing issues to delays might be differing Covid entry requirements, security preparation and some passengers returning to travel for the first time since the pandemic.
Adam Wilson, operations director at Edinburgh Airport, said: “We’ve drawn up a range of plans to deal with potential scenarios but unfortunately this may not avoid queuing at peak times.
“We clearly hope this won’t be the case, but we think it’s better to be honest and ask passengers to work with us to make the process as smooth as possible.
“We’ll be using our social media channels, our website, our emails to inform and best prepare people for their return to travel. We hope people understand the challenges we are likely to face, and we are thankful for their patience.”