Bristol Airport passenger numbers soar to new high in September

October 17, 2011

More than 610,000 passengers passed through Bristol Airport last month, making it the busiest September on record.

The 1.5% year-on-year increase meant the monthly total surpassed the previous high of 601,432 in 2008.

And despite the tough economic conditions, 2011’s passenger numbers are expected to be close to last year’s total of 5.7m, with growth returning in 2012.

Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said July and August’s poor weather resulted in many people heading abroad for some late summer sun, while the airport has also benefited from a resurgence in business travel.

“We are very fortunate to be the leading airport in the South West market which has proven to more resilient than other regions over the last few years” he said.

“While we do not expect to see such high passenger numbers over the winter, as conditions continue to be tough for business and leisure travellers alike, September’s result is an encouraging sign that strong growth will return in 2012.

“To meet this anticipated demand we are already working on a range of further enhancements to the airport to accommodate the increased numbers and improve the overall passenger experience ahead of next summer.”

A significant factor behind the record September volumes was easyJet’s decision to extend the stay of an additional aircraft operating from Bristol throughout the summer.

The airline bases 10 planes at the airport year-round with an 11th to meet demand during the peak holiday season. This year the extra A320 remained in place until the end of September, making an additional 10,000 seats available to destinations including Geneva, Pisa, Nice and Malaga.

Aircraft movements in September continued their downward trend with a decrease of 2.8% year on year, demonstrating the increased efficiencies of airlines operating larger aircraft with high load factors.

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