Airport bucks trend to increase passenger figures
BRISTOL Airport was the only one of the country's top ten airports to see its passengers numbers increase over the last year.
Official annual statistics released yesterday showed the number of people passing through the airport was up for the third successive year, increasing by 2.8 per cent to just under six million.
The increase included record monthly totals for June and July.
In October, Bristol welcomed a new airline when BMI Regional commenced a double-daily service to Aberdeen, with further flights to Frankfurt and Hamburg to follow from February. New routes this year included easyJet services to Copenhagen and Naples, and a three-times weekly Ryanair flight to Warsaw Modlin.
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Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair, right, said: "These figures are a very positive signal that the South West economy is moving in the right direction. The resurgence in business travel has been particularly strong, with several airlines, including KLM and Brussels Airlines, adding capacity on routes to major European hub airports.
"We expect this growth to continue throughout 2013, with further route announcements in the pipeline."
The first phase of a development which will ultimately enable Bristol Airport to handle 10 million passengers per year was completed in June, when three new aircraft stands were opened by the then Transport Secretary, Justine Greening.
Other improvements included the construction of an additional immigration facility and an expanded security search area, both aimed at increasing the efficiency of essential processes at peak times.
Work is already under way on a new executive lounge, which will be 50 per cent larger than the existing facility and will offer hot food and different zones in which passengers can work or relax before boarding their flights.